Update June 11, 2016, 12:05 p.m. EDT: Orlando Police Chief John Mina has revealed in a press conference that the unnamed suspect who shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie traveled from another city in Florida to Orlando specifically to confront The Voice alum, reports the AP. The suspect, who had two handguns and a large hunting knife on his person, did not appear to know Grimmie personally and may have been a deranged fan, Mina said. The gunman's motive still remains unknown.
Police: #ChristinaGrimmie shooting suspect had two handguns, large hunting knife https://t.co/IcRjhaemMb https://t.co/UyfwDb8lbE— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 11, 2016
This story was originally published on June 11, 2016, at 11:00 a.m EDT.
Singer Christina Grimmie, a YouTube star who rose to fame on season 6 of The Voice, was shot and killed after an Orlando, FL, concert Friday night. Grimmie, who had opened for pop rock band Before You Exit at the Plaza Live concert venue, was signing autographs for fans when an unidentified gunman opened fire, fatally wounding The Voice alum before shooting and killing himself, reports CBS News. Grimmie's brother, Mark, quickly tackled the gunman, who shot and killed himself during their fight. Orlando police credit his heroic reaction with preventing the gunman, whose identity and motives remain a mystery, from hurting others. "We don't know if he was just a crazy fan that followed her on Twitter or on social media. We really don't know," Orlando police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio told CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV. "This is a very tragic event. This should have been something that was fun and exciting, and for something like this to happen is just a tragedy." Grimmie's publicist, Heather Walsh, issued a statement concerning the tragic news via email early Saturday. "It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord," Walsh wrote. "She was shot at her show in Orlando, and unfortunately didn't survive the gunshot wounds. We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning." Grimmie, 22, is best known for making the final three on season 6 of The Voice, where she competed on the team of Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. She first rose to prominence on YouTube. Her cover video of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A.," uploaded in 2009, garnered the attention of her first management agency, reports People. The video has since amassed more than 12.2 million views.
In 2011, Grimmie released her first EP, Find Me, and parlayed her YouTube fame into a gig as the opening act for the U.S. and Canadian portion of Selena Gomez's We Own the Night Tour. Later that same year, Grimmie won an American Music Award for New Media Honoree. In 2013, she again opened for Gomez during the Stars Dance Tour. Then, in 2014, she catapulted to the national spotlight with a stunning performance of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" at The Voice blind auditions, earning a spot on Team Adam and ultimately finishing in third place. Since the news of this tragic event, stars of The Voice and other celebrities have taken to social media to express their shock and sadness. Before news of her death was confirmed, Levine posted a photo of himself with the singer on Instagram, sharing his prayers in the caption.
Blake Shelton took to Twitter, first expressing his shock and disbelief and looking for more information, then sharing kind wishes for Grimmie's family and friends after the news was confirmed.
Just hearing about this.. Is this all true? Anybody know how she's doing? https://t.co/f6mqVEelrS— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
I'm stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl... Keeping @TheRealGrimmie family in my heart and mind.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
The band Grimmie was opening for, Before You Exit, called her an "angel, sister, and a beloved friend" in a heartbreaking tweet.
Today we lost an angel, sister, and a beloved friend. #RipChristina pic.twitter.com/EkwTKsaLFr— Before You Exit⇞ (@beforeyouexit) June 11, 2016
And the show that launched her to prominence, The Voice, paid tribute on its official Twitter account.
There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family of @TheRealGrimmie.— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) June 11, 2016