Christina Grimmie remembered by her hometown of Evesham
Evesham Township will remember Christina Grimmie, who always considered her brother her hero, with a vigil on Monday night.
Mayor Randy Brown said "it's been a brutal 24 hours for the kids and the town" since Grimmie was shot by 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl after a concert at The Plaza Live, a concert venue in Orlando on Friday night as she signed autographs.
"She spent years in the Cherokee (school district) music program. She made an impact on a lot of those kids and a lot of her fellow students" said Brown, who followed her as she progressed on "The Voice" where she finished in third place in 2014.
Brown said she performed at Evesham's Fourth of July concert in front of a crowd of 30,000 "and didn't ask for a penny."
Brown tweeted that a vigil for Grimmie will take place at the Memorial Complex on Tuckerton Road starting at 8:45 a.m.
"Honestly, I've been mayor for 10 years and never done a vigil. We're trying to go ahead and see who can be there...my staff is working on that," he said.
"Evesham Township is shocked and saddened by the news of Christine Grimmie's death. She was one of Evesham's finest. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Grimmie family during this tragic time," wrote the Township in a post on its Facebook.page
After Loibl opened fire he was tackled by Grimmie's brother Marcus who police called a "hero and possibly saved countless other lives." Brown said his 25-year-old son were on the same flag football team and said he was impressed by Marcus' action during the shooting and called him "courageous...a first class kid."
Christina's eighth-grade teacher Jessica Blake recalled that Grimmie always called her brother Marcus her hero.
"I'm not specifically sure what he did for her but she said he really relied on him" as their mother battled breast cancer during their time at Marlton Middle School. She remembered both as being quiet and keeping to themselves but often wore a shirt that read "This is how I roll."
"They were a very, very close family so it didn't surprise me to hear what he did," Blake said.
Blake remembered that Grimmie was very quiet, shy and kept to herself after transferring to Marlton Middle School from a smaller school.
"We really didn't know she could sing until the end of the year at a talent show. We were all in awe of her and that's when she started putting things on YouTube. So many people were amazed at her voice they encouraged her" to post the videos, Blake said..
Loibl and Christina apparently had no personal connection to one another until Friday night when police said Loibl traveled 100 miles from his home in St. Petersburg. He then fatally shot himself. Police have not offered a motive for the shooting.
Orlando Police said a shooting on Sunday at the gay nightclub Pulse is not related to Grimmie's shooting.