NJ ‘Voice’ contestant Christina Grimmie shot to death while signing autographs
South Jersey "The Voice" contestant Christina Grimmie was shot to death Friday night as she signed autographs after a concert in Orlando.
Orlando Police in a statement said that Grimmie, 22, of Evesham was signing autographs after a concert with the band Before You Exit around 10 p.m. when a gunman walked up at a venue called Plaza Live and shot her at point blank range.
Orlando Police identified the suspect as Kevin James Loibl,27, of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Orlando police chief John Mina said the suspect traveled to Orlando from another location in Florida specifically to confront Grimmie. Officials did not disclose the identity of the gunman. He had two handguns and a hunting knife.
Her brother tackled the suspect who then turned the gun on himself and died, according to officials who also credited Grimmie's brother for preventing anyone else from being shot.
Police did not provide a motive and said they were checking his computer, phone and other records. They said they were not aware of any restraining orders Grimmie had taken out against anyone.
Mina said there was security at the venue but personnel is not armed and Orlando police was not present.
"We know people want answers and our detectives are working all leads at this time," Mina said at the news conference.
Grimmie was taken to a hospital and died from her injuries around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, according to police.
Publicist Heather Walsh said in an email early Saturday that "we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord."
Grimmie finished third on the NBC series in 2014 as a member of Adam Levine's team. She attended Cherokee High School but left the Marlton school in 2011 as she pursued a music career and eventually moved to Los Angeles.
Billboard writer Michele Amabile said that during Grimmie's time on "The Voice," she got the rare "four chair turnaround" from the judges. "Four chair turnarounds are special for Voice contestants, and Christina's version of 'Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus was so strong she got one from Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher," Amabile said of the performer, who had four of her performances on the show make the iTunes Top 10.
Just before "The Voice" finale aired live from Los Angeles in May of 2014, Evesham's township council recognized Grimmie's accomplishment.
"We wish to recognize her formidable talents. Her journey was nothing short of spectacular," officials said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report