Christian Contestant from THE VOICE Leaves an Inspiring Legacy
By Ashley McConkey, Contributing Writer
NBC’s THE VOICE contester, Christina Grimmie 22, passed away June 11, after she was attacked and killed by Kevin James Loibl while signing autographs after her concert in Orlando, Florida.
Her free meet-and-greet was located just four miles away from the Pulse nightclub where the mass Islamic terrorist murder happened the following night that left 49 victims dead.
Loibl posed as an eager fan awaiting an autograph, armed with two guns and a knife, according to the Orlando Police Department. Witness Destiny Rivera said she “embraced her shooter with open arms. . . just like she did with all her fans.”
Immediately after the shots were fired, Christina’s older brother, Marcus Grimmie, wrestled the killer to the ground. Witnesses said there were 5 shots fired in total. Loibl then took his own life.
Officials said that suicide was not part of Loibl’s plan.
Speculations have been made that Christina’s death was a result of her being a Christian. Some people have labeled this shooting as a hate crime. There seems to be no connection between Loibl and Christina. He was nothing but a stranger. He was believed to be an obsessed fan.
Christina was rushed to the hospital where doctors pronounced her dead.
In the Grimmie’s hometown of Evesham, New Jersey, a vigil was held. At the vigil her brother, Marcus, spoke out about the tragic incident.
“She loved this town,” he said. “She loved the state. She loved singing. She loved the Lord.”
Marcus shared that he was “in great peace” in knowing that she was in a better place. Marcus showed sympathy and remorse for those killed and injured in the mass nightclub shooting. He shared that Adam Levine, her coach on the voice, funded her funeral. He also shared with the public that he had five different people offer to purchase his father’s plane ticket. He went on to say that the victims of the nightclub shooting were sadly not as fortunate as he was. Marcus expressed gratitude for all the support he and his family were given.
“It’s every parent’s nightmare to bury a child,” Evesham Mayor Randy Brown said. “You can shed tears because she is gone or smile because she lived. . . (so) do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and live on.”
The vigil was held not to mourn her death but to celebrate her life.