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‘Voice’ singer Christina Grimmie fatally shot at concert venue; gunman identified

Singer Christina Grimmie was shot dead on June 10. Here is a look back at the once rising star, and what police are saying about her death. (Video: Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

Friday night’s concert at the Plaza Live venue had ended.

But Christina Grimmie — a former finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” — stuck around afterward, according to Orlando police. Grimmie and Before You Exit, the band that headlined the show, lingered to sign autographs and sell merchandise, police said.

Then, at about 10:30 p.m., authorities received calls about gunshots at Plaza Live. When officers secured the scene, they found two people who had been shot, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a news conference Saturday.

One was Grimmie, the 22-year-old singer who died of the injuries she suffered.

The other was her suspected killer, identified Saturday as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl, who also shot and killed himself, police said.

Liobl, of St. Petersburg, “traveled to Orlando, apparently to commit this crime,” Mina told reporters. “And then had plans to travel back to where he came from.”

“Words cannot begin to describe the pain I am feeling,” Grimmie’s manager, Brian Teefey, said in a statement. “I learned this business through the eyes of a father, and Christina was like a second daughter to me. All I wanted to do was assist her in achieving her musical dreams while protecting her from the pitfalls associated with the business.

“I never could have imagined this horrific event being one of the pitfalls needing to be avoided.”

Grimmie, a New Jersey native with more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube, finished in third place during Season 6 of “The Voice.” Her finale performances on the NBC singing show were watched by more than 11 million people, according to Nielsen.

Her mentor on the show was Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, who on Saturday wrote on Twitter that he and his wife were “absolutely devastated and heartbroken” by her death.

Orlando Police say the suspect accused of fatally shooting "The Voice" singer Christina Grimmie had traveled from another city in Florida to commit the crime. (Video: Reuters)

An investigation into Friday’s shooting found that a man came up to Grimmie after the show, when about 120 people were still in the venue, Mina told reporters. The man opened fire, and Grimmie was hit. Grimmie’s brother then tackled the suspect, Mina said.

“Shortly after that, the suspect killed himself,” he said.

Grimmie was taken to a hospital but eventually died, according to the news release.

“Christina was such a loving, caring, beautiful person,” Before You Exit, the band that performed with her Friday, wrote on Twitter.

“We are so saddened by her passing and completely heartbroken,” the band added.

Loibl was armed with handguns and a hunting knife, authorities said. Mina, the police chief, said nothing in the investigation had suggested that the gunman knew the singer personally.

“We’re looking into that and trying to find a motive for the crime,” Mina said.

The concert venue has unarmed security guards, who check bags and purses when people enter, Mina said. Events at Plaza Live have been suspended “until further notice,” according to a post on its Facebook page.

Grimmie has periodically appeared on Billboard’s Social 50 chart, which ranks the most popular artists on social media; she reached as high as 14th, in 2011. She has sold 66,000 albums and 905,000 digital songs, according to Nielsen data cited by Billboard.

In an interview with the website Popcrush published days before her death, Grimmie said she had a busy year planned, with “so much awesome new music.”

“I have so much stuff coming up,” she told the site, noting that she was “focusing on writing” and hoping to “get a full length album out this year.”

She added: “I would just love to tour that album.”

This post has been updated, and an incorrect spelling of a name has been removed.