Gunman Who Killed ‘Voice’ Singer Christina Grimmie ID’d as Kevin James Loibl: Police

The gunman who killed former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie and then fatally shot himself was identified by police Saturday as Kevin James Loibl, a 27-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida.

Grimmie, 22, died from her injuries from the shooting, which happened Friday around 10:30 p.m. ET at The Plaza Live in Orlando. The singer had opened for the band Before You Exit and was meeting fans and signing autographs a half hour after the concert ended when she was shot.

Earlier Saturday, police had said the gunman was 21 years old, and they didn’t identify him. They later shared Loibl’s full name and photo on the Orlando Police Department Twitter account, along with his date of birth — March 10, 1989 — and corrected age.

Loibl had two handguns, two loaded magazines and a large hunting knife with him when he targeted Grimmie, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Saturday. He hailed Grimmie’s brother, who tackled Loibl, as a hero.

Almost immediately, her brother Marcus Grimmie tackled the suspect,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters earlier Saturday. “Shortly after that, the suspect killed himself.”

Loibl lived in St. Petersburg, more than 100 miles west of Orlando, police added.

“The suspect traveled to Orlando apparently to commit this crime and then had plans to travel back to where he came from,” Mina said.

Detectives were scouring his cellphone and computer to find a motive for the killing. Mina said there was “no indication” so far that he knew Grimmie. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had a prior criminal record.

The shooting happened inside the venue as about 120 concertgoers crowded around Grimmie for a chance to meet her and buy merchandise. Fans’ purses and backpacks are typically checked when they enter The Plaza Live, but there are no metal detectors there, Mina said.

“This isn’t a crowd that you would suspect would be carrying guns into a venue like this,” he said of fans of Before You Exit, an Orlando pop/rock band.

There were no other casualties.

The Plaza Live said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened by the tragic events,” and would be suspending all events there until further notice, including a Kidz Bop concert that was scheduled for Saturday night.

Grimmie, who’s from Marlton, New Jersey, shot to fame in 2014, when she came in third place on NBC’s singing competition “The Voice.” She auditioned with a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and chose Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as her voice coach.

“Christina was a natural, a gifted talent that comes along so rarely,” Levine said in a statement Saturday. “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.”

NBC’s Carson Daly, host of “The Voice,” told TODAY that Grimmie was “such an incredible talent and incredible person.”

“She really was special,” he said. “She had an infectious laugh, she was determined, she was confident, but she was so incredibly sweet. You would never forget meeting her.”

Her brother, who goes by Mark, frequently appeared on Grimmie’s social accounts, starting with her YouTube videos that attracted millions of views before she was on “The Voice.” In some, he plays guitar while Grimmie sings and plays piano.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s