Tuesday 20 February 2018

Man went to concert armed to kill singer

Mike Schneidner

The gunman who shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie travelled to her Florida gig specifically to attack her, police said.

Kevin Loibl was carrying two handguns, two loaded magazines and a hunting knife, when he entered The Plaza Live concert venue in Orlando.

Grimmie, who rose to fame after appearing on the US version of 'The Voice', was signing autographs after her performance when Loibl opened fire.

Grimmie's brother, Marcus, immediately tackled the gunman, who then shot and killed himself during the struggle.

The 22-year-old singer was taken to hospital after the attack on Friday night, and died early on Saturday.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Loibl (27) of St Petersburg, Florida, did not appear to know Grimmie personally.

He said: "She was doing a meet-and-greet, just signing autographs and selling merchandise. This white male approached her and opened fire, striking her. We believe he came here to commit this crime."

Grimmie, from New Jersey, finished third during season six of NBC's 'The Voice' in 2014.

She began amassing a following on YouTube as a teenager, gripping viewers with her powerful renditions of hit songs. Her videos on YouTube have notched up millions of views.

Earlier, police said Grimmie had performed with the band Before You Exit at the gig, which ended around 10pm local time, and she was shot as she signed autographs for fans at a merchandise table.

Marcus Grimmie's actions in tackling Loibl stopped the gunman from hurting others, police said. Around 120 people were in The Plaza Live at the time. "Very heroic actions by Marcus Grimmie to jump in and it definitely could have prevented further loss of life," Mr Mina said.

Detectives were searching Loibl's phone and social media accounts looking for clues as to a motive, the police chief said, but they were not aware of any history of him stalking Grimmie.

Irish Independent

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