Police Identifies Gunman Who Killed Singer Christina Grimmie
It was a very dark weekend for Orlando, Florida. On Friday night, singer Christina Grimmie was shot to death following her concert, after which the gunman took his own life. Police have now identified the man as Kevin James Loibl, 27, but his motives are still unknown.
Grimmie opened for the band Before You Exit at the Plaza Live in Orlando, and then spent some time meeting fans and writing autographs. That’s when Loibl seized his opportunity and shot her with a small handgun. Grimmie’s brother immediately rushed to tackle the shooter to the ground, which prevented more people from being harmed, said the Orlando police in a statement. Loibl then shot himself. Grimmie later died in the hospital from her injuries.
OPD can confirm 27 year old Kevin James Loibl, suspect who shot Christina Grimmie, is from St Petersburg, FL pic.twitter.com/iN6RUi3VRx
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 11, 2016
Why Loibl shot Grimmie is still a mystery and the police have been searching his computer and phone to try and determine whether they knew each other, or if he had any other reason to want her dead. What we do know is that he lived in St. Petersburg, but traveled the two hours to Orlando carrying two handguns and a big hunting knife, just to kill Grimmie, and was planning on returning home afterwards. Reports say he went by public transportation, and that he had no previous criminal record.
This is a note posted to the door of Loibl’s family home in St. Petersburg:
— Evan Lambert FOX 13 (@EvanLambertTV) June 11, 2016
Twenty-two-year-old Grimmie had her breakthrough in the sixth season of the “Voice” that aired on NBC two years ago. She was coached by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, who has offered to pay for the funeral. Social media was filled with tributes to Grimmie by Levine and others in the music industry over the weekend.
Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie’s death. Our hearts go out to her family pic.twitter.com/y4OMkm0uXu
— Adam Levine (@adamlevine) June 11, 2016
Before You Exit, the band she was touring with, tweeted this message:
— Before You Exit⇞ (@beforeyouexit) June 11, 2016
NBC’s Carson Daly is the host of “The Voice” and told TODAY: “Christina really was, she was special. She would walk in a room and have an infectious laugh. She was determined; she was confident. But she was so incredibly sweet.”
My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina pic.twitter.com/KWGwZZlj4t
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) June 11, 2016
Grimmie was a personal friend of Selena Gomez and her family. Gomez’s stepdad, who was also Grimmie’s manager, started a fundraiser to help Grimmie’s family out and has so far raised over $120,000.
Grimmie’s killing was followed early Sunday morning by the deadliest mass shooting in American history at a gay nightclub, also in Orlando.
See Law Street’s piece on whether mass shootings could actually lead to looser gun laws.