Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice US, was tragically killed on Friday night after a gunman fired at her as she signed autographs at a meet and greet. As tributes have poured in on social media from the star's friends, family and admirers, details about the identity of the gunman have emerged.
According to the Orlando police, the gunman, who killed himself after he was tackled by Christina's brother, Marcus, was a 27-year-old named Kevin James Loibl. Police spokesperson Wanda Miglio said: "We don't know if he was just a crazy fan that followed her on Twitter or on social media. We really don't know ... it's undetermined at this point."
Christina's The Voice mentor shared a photo of himself with the star
According to one fan, who claimed to be in the queue to have an autograph signed, the star opened her arms to greet her attacker before she shot. Destiny Rivera told People magazine: "He did look a little bit nervous, but he was by himself and he was dressed as any other concertgoer…he just kept looking around and was moving his body." She continued to say that Christina met the gunman with: "her arms open wide ready to greet him, as she would any of her other friends with such enthusiasm" before she heard "three popping noises."
Although it is unknown why the gunman shot the singer, the family of the deceased suspect placed a handwritten sign outside their door which reads: "Deepest sorrow for lost (sic) to the family, friends and fans of the very talented, loving Christina Grimmie. No other comments."
Orlando Police Chief John Mina spoke about the tragedy, saying: "She was doing a meet and greet, signing autographs… so this white male approached her and opened fired, striking her. Almost immediately her brother Marcus Grimmie tackled the suspect to the ground, shortly after that the suspect killed himself."
John went on to praise Christina's brother's actions, saying they were "very heroic" and that "it definitely could have prevented further loss of life."
Marcus wrote a tribute to his sister via People magazine. He said: "Christina was more than my sister. 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."
Fans have paid tribute to the singer
Christina's The Voice mentor Adam Levine was among a host of famous faces who took to social media to pay their respects to the singer. Posting a photo of himself with the star, he wrote: "Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie's death. Our hearts go out to her family."
Fellow The Voice judge Christina Aguilera also tweeted about the singer. She wrote: "So sad passing of @TheRealGrimmie. Beautiful member of #TheVoice family & true #Fighter. My heart goes out to her family, friends & fans."
Demi Lovato wrote: "#RIPChristina my thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones..," while Gwen Stefani wrote: "I am so shaken by what happened to @TheRealGrimmie sending prayers of Peace to her family gx."
Selena Gomez was close to Christina, and Selena's stepfather was Christina's manager. The Voice star had also previously opened for Selena's We Own the Night tour in North America. The Come & Get It singer gave an emotional tribute to her friend during a concert on Saturday night, saying: "One thing about Christina and her family is that she holds her faith so closely to her.
Selena paid tribute to the star at her concert on Saturday night
"I think it's not about a religion and it's not about good deeds. I think she just had faith and I don't really understand how this really happened, but I would like to dedicate this song to her."
The star also posted a photo of herself with Christina on Twitter, writing: "My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina."
Christina was rushed from the Plaza Live Theatre to Orlando Regional Medical Centre in a critical condition, but sadly later died from her injuries. The star's publicist released a statement confirming her passing which read: "It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord. She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately didn't survive the gunshot wounds."
"We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning. If you'd like to give back to Christina's family in her memory, please consider donating to the family's GoFundMe page in their time of need."
The GoFundPage, which aimed to raise $4000 for the singer's family, has now reached over $70thousand.