ORLANDO, Fla. — A 27-year-old man is accused of traveling to Orlando to kill "The Voice" contestant and YouTube star Christina Grimmie late Friday after a performance at The Plaza Live, the Orlando Police Department said.
Orlando police Chief John Mina said during a news conference Saturday morning that the man, who wasn’t publicly identified, traveled from another city outside of Central Florida to kill Grimmie during a meet and greet after the concert.
Armed with two handguns and a hunting knife, the man shot Grimmie, 22, shortly before 10:30 p.m. as she signed autographs for fans, Mina said.
Fans reported hearing at least six gunshots inside the venue.
Police say Grimmie’s brother tackled the gunman, something Mina called heroic as it prevented the suspect from shooting any other bystanders. The gunman then turned the gun on himself.
The singer was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition. Shortly after 3 a.m., Orlando police announced that Grimmie had died from her injuries
Her publicist issued a statement to WFTV, confirming the news.
At the time of the shooting, 120 people were inside the venue, which was being patrolled by unarmed security guards, Mina said.
Though the venue doesn’t have metal detectors or require pat-downs, Mina said security officers checked bags and purses at the facility’s entrance.
Police believe the gunman had planned to return to the city from where he came. Investigators are now studying his cellphone and computer to determine his motive.
Investigators also are trying to determine how the unidentified man obtained the guns.
Mina said there’s no indication Grimmie knew her killer. And it’s unknown if he had contacted her on social media.
Detectives met Grimmie’s parents Saturday.
In 2014, Grimmie participated in the sixth season of the singing competition "The Voice" and finished in third place. She first gained notoriety on YouTube. Her YouTube channel has more than 11,000 followers.
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