Gunman Who Killed ‘The Voice’ Singer Christina Grimmie Traveled to Orlando to Shoot Her, Police Say
The man who shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie after her concert in Orlando traveled there from another Florida city to attack her, police said today.
The suspected gunman, Kevin James Loibl, 27, of St. Petersburg, had two handguns, loaded magazines and a hunting knife, the Orlando Police Department said. Police released his name this afternoon, after earlier only giving his age — mistakenly given as 21.
There is no indication that he knew the 22-year-old singer, who was a performer on “The Voice” in 2014, police said.
“The suspect traveled to Orlando apparently to commit this crime,” Orlando Police Department Chief John Mina told reporters at a news conference today.
Loibl was not on police radar and there was “nothing that would stand out or raise suspicious that he would do something like this,” St Petersburg Police Department spokesman Rick Shaw said.
According to a Pinellas County police database, Loibl was never arrested, Shaw said. He was in the police system, but for minor infractions such as petty theft, a minor battery incident in which he was the victim and a 2008 car accident. He was once suspected of aggravated battery, but no charges were filed after the alleged victim said she couldn’t remember the incident and then became uncooperative, Shaw said.
Grimmie and the band Before You Exit were signing autographs and selling merchandise after their show ended Friday night at 10 p.m. at Orlando’s Plaza Live Theater, when Loibl walked up to her and shot her, Orlando police said. Loibl fatally shot himself after Grimmie’s brother tackled him to the ground.
“During the struggle, the suspect shot himself. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene,” Orlando Police Department public information officer Wanda Miglio said during an earlier press briefing this morning. “Her brother is a hero for saving and stopping him from not hurting anyone else.”
Authorities said investigators are searching Loibl’s computer and other belongings to determine a motive for the crime. It is unclear how he got into the concert venue, where unarmed security guards check bags and purses, officials said.
Grimmie was transported to a local hospital, where she later died from critical injuries.
“It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord,” Grimmie’s rep said in a statement. “She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn’t survive the gun shot 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 families GoFundMe page in their time of need.”
Singer Adam Levine also spoke out about the shooting death of Grimmie, who was on his team while she was a contestant on “The Voice.” He released a statement saying he and his wife, model Behati Prinsloo, are “devastated.”
“Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie’s tragic death. Our hearts go out to her family. Christina was a natural, a gifted talent that comes along so rarely. She was taken from us too soon. This is yet another senseless act of extreme violence. I am left stunned and confused how these things can conceivably continue to happen in our world,” Levine said in the statement obtained by ABC News today.