Mark Grimmie is being hailed a hero after the fatal shooting of his sister, singer Christina Grimmie. The Voice runner-up and YouTube star was shot and killed while signing autographs for fans outside of the Plaza Live venue in Orlando, Florida, on Friday. The singer’s brother Marcus (aka Mark) was also seated at the autograph table, and he proceeded to tackle the gunman, according to the Orlando Police department. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and died.
OPD was told suspect walked toward Christina and shot her. Christina's brother immediately tackled the suspect, who shot & killed himself.— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 11, 2016
Mark Grimmie may have saved many other lives while trying to save his sister. Several people at the scene took to social media to report that there more than a dozen fans waiting in line to meet Christina Grimmie at the time of the attack, but that Mark’s quick action stopped the shooter in his tracks.
With that being said, thank you Mark Grimmie for saving my life as well as some other incredibly brave friends and fans. We appreciate you.— Destiny Rivera✨ (@dearxdestiny) June 11, 2016
After his sister’s death, Mark Grimmie paid tribute to her on Facebook in an emotional post.
“Christina was more than my sister,” Mark wrote. “She was a partner in life. A superstar. A goofball. Introverted. And a friend to everyone. Genuinely. But above all… she was my baby sister. She loved the Lord and her family and was always there for me and I honestly don’t know what I’ll do without her…Thank you all so so much. The support has been crazy and I do feel a peace. I just don’t have any words. I love you all.”
Mark Grimmie has been an important part of his sister’s career. In fact, it was the contact information on Mark’s YouTube page that was used to locate Christina when Selena Gomez’ stepfather, Brian Teefey, first discovered her music online.
In a 2011 interview with Seventeen, Christina Grimmie credited her brother Mark with helping to get her hooked up with Gomez, who she later opened for on the superstar’s Stars Dance and We Own the Night concert tours.
“I was 16 and in school at the time. My brother was in my [YouTube] video for only a second, so I put his link in the description,” Christina said. “Brian (Selena’s stepdad) tried to contact me, but it’s very hard to do that because of all the messages. So he contacted my brother, instead. So then my brother texted me in the middle of school, like, ‘I really think Selena Gomez’s stepdad is trying to get a hold of you.’ I didn’t believe it; I had heard too many stories. But it ended up being true, and he came over our house. We discussed things and everything fell into place. It was amazing how it happened.”
While the Grimmies are from Marlton, New Jersey, after she met Selena, Christina moved to Los Angeles and was managed by Teefey. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mark Grimmie said his sister never ceased to amaze him.
“I’m done being surprised by cool things she does,” Mark said. “She’s very talented and she’s worked incredibly hard — it’s a dangerous combination.”
Mark Grimmie was a frequent fixture at his late sister’s shows and often performed with her on the road as her guitarist.
But the Grimmie siblings were also best friends. In an interview with Joonbug, Christina revealed that she was extremely close with Mark, who was only one year older than her. As kids, they bonded over music and video games.
“My brother is a year older than me, and we’re literally best friends, so when he started playing video games when he was 5, I would watch him because I was too young to understand what to do,” the late singer said in 2011. “I’ve loved video games ever since I was that young. But Zelda…I remember it was my favorite game to watch my brother play. But I would constantly have nightmares about re-deads and freaky things in the game, so my mom sold the game and me and my brother were so upset! We got it back a few years later and when I tell you I played it all the time, I PLAYED IT ALL THE TIME! It has such a great story and it will never get old to me.”
Take a look at the video below to see Christina Grimmie performing with her brother Mark.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]