Christina Grimmie, a YouTube star and singer, appeared at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando, Florida, on June 10, 2016.
As is customary for an up-and-coming singer, the 22-year-old lingered after the event to mingle with her admirers.
In a recent interview with Insider, Christina’s brother Marcus Grimmie, now 28, said, “She really loved the people around her and gave everyone the time of day, no matter what.”
Over 100 individuals were in the theatre where the meet-and-greet took place, according to an Orlando Police Department incident report from that night.
While her brother sat close at the product booth, she signed signatures and spoke with fans.
Kevin James Loibl, a 27-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, was one of the admirers in line eager to meet Christina.
According to the police report acquired by Insider, Loibl approached the singer and pulled out a firearm and shot her many times.
Marcus leapt over the product table after Loibl fired his revolver, the police report says, and knocked the gunman to the ground.
Loibl, on the other hand, was able to free himself from Marcus’ grip, place the pistol to his head, and fire.
Christina died hours later in the hospital after Loibl died suddenly. Two nights later, 49 people were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting, which took place just four miles from Christina’s murder scene.
Christina was slain five years ago on Thursday, tragically stopping her climb to popular music success, which had only begun in 2016.
Many people have connected Christina’s death to the assassinations of singer Selena Quintanilla and actress Rebecca Schaeffer, who were both assassinated by their admirers.
According to the article, Cory Dennington, a friend of Christina’s killer, told authorities that he felt Loibl was fascinated with her. Loibl “watched everything that had to do with” the late singer, according to Dennington.
Dennington told investigators that the preoccupation began approximately “six months to a year” before she was killed, but it became “unhealthy” two months before she was killed.
The investigation states that “Dennington claimed he spent the most of his waking hours watching Christina on YouTube and regularly monitoring her social media profiles.”
According to the Orlando Police Department’s investigation, Loibl began modifying his look for her.
He received hair implants, had his teeth whitened, and had Lasik eye surgery despite having never attended one of Christina’s performances or seen her before the night of the murder, according to the police report.
Loibl’s coworkers at Best Buy were apparently aware of his crush for Christina, according to the story, and would “jokingly taunt him.”
According to the police complaint, Loibl became upset after his Best Buy coworkers showed him a photo of Christina and her producer-boyfriend Stephen Rezza.
According to Orlando Police Chief John Mina, who spoke to media the day following Christina’s murder, Loibl brought two pistols, a hunting knife, and two filled magazines to her performance in 2016.
According to NBC News at the time, Mina also stated that Loibl went to Orlando from St. Petersburg, which is about 161 kilometers away, and that he had intentions to return home.
Loibl bought the pistols lawfully before the concert, according to CNN.
The Grimmie family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the concert venue six months after her death, claiming that security only executed “superficial bag checks” and didn’t have body pat-downs or metal detectors to prevent spectators from carrying firearms into the arena, according to Billboard.
According to a spokeswoman from the Christina Grimmie Foundation, which was established in the singer’s honor to assist families of gun violence victims, the lawsuit was settled in 2019. The attorney did not elaborate on the terms of the settlement.
Christina’s early YouTube videos were simple: she’d sit behind an electric piano in front of a beige wall, with a classic Sonic poster in the backdrop. In July 2009, she sang Hannah Montana’s “Don’t Wanna Be Torn” for her debut cover.
According to press accounts at the time, she quickly garnered a big social media following, with around three million YouTube followers when she was slain.
Christina’s brother, Marcus, told Insider that his sister’s pals urged her to upload singing videos on social media.
Marcus remarked, “From an early age, she had a gift [for singing]. She was a beast when she worked hard on anything. She was capable of achieving almost any goal she set for herself.”
She continued to upload videos and listen to fan requests, ultimately performing increasingly difficult songs such as Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.”
One of her most well-known versions was a stripped-down, piano-heavy rendition of Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” which she performed alongside singers Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider.
On both Christina’s and Schneider’s channels, the cover has accumulated over 220 million views.
“Working with Christina on the ‘Just a Dream’ video, which has already been seen by hundreds of millions of people, will always be one of the works of art I’m most proud of,” Tsui said in an email to Insider.
“Being able to share that musical moment with the rest of the world and allowing it (along with her whole body of work) to live on and inspire others is simply priceless.”
Schneider told Insider that he wishes the band has more chances to re-create the magic.
“It was always so simple to work with Christina, and the time flew by,” he added. “She was simply delightful to be around.”
Christina debuted on the sixth season of NBC’s singing competition series “The Voice” in 2014, wowing the judges with a rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
She drew the attention of all four judges and decided to join Adam Levine’s squad, which includes Maroon 5.
To advance in the competition, candidates work with the judges to develop their singing ability, thus she and Levine collaborated extensively.
Josh Kaufman was the eventual winner of the tournament, which she finished third in. She covered Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” during her appearance on the show.
According to Rolling Stone at the time, Levine volunteered to help with Christina’s funeral expenses.
Two days after his sister’s death, Marcus said on his Facebook page, “I found out this morning that Adam Levine personally contacted my mother and said he will pay for her burial and airline journey. I was completely astounded.”
Mike Tompkins, a musician who got his start on YouTube, recalled her work ethic in an interview with Insider, and claimed she stood out among the other musicians he had worked with.
“Christina was the kind of powerful vocalist who really nails it,” he remarked. “She doesn’t require a large number of attempts. She possessed the unadulterated ability.”
“She had a talent and anointing where she could sing live and it would amaze people,” Tyler Ward, another YouTube music sensation, remarked.
Christina’s family and a community of musicians have worked hard to ensure that her memory is not forgotten.
The Christina Grimmie Foundation was founded in April 2017 by the Grimmie family to aid relatives of gun violence victims. The charity has given nearly $100,000 so far, according to its website.
On the anniversary of Christina’s death, the charity held a benefit performance to collect funds for its cause on Wednesday night.
Tsui and Schneider reinvented “Just a Dream” is a song they wrote with Christina in 2010 to commemorate the cover they collaborated on. Tori Kelly, a close friend of Christina’s who got her start on YouTube, sang her song “Until I Think of You.”
Artists such as Rachel Platten, with whom Grimmie toured in 2016, Audra McLaughlin, and Jacquie Lee, as well as fellow Grimmie alumnae Audra McLaughlin and Jacquie Lee; and fellow Grimmie alumnae Audra McLaughlin and Jacquie “Ward, Rezza, and YouTube singer Tiffany Alvord are among the “Voice“ contestants.
Not only did her death shock her friends, family, and admirers, but it also shocked the whole YouTube community.
On YouTube, some admirers made compilation films of their favorite Christina footage, while others paid respect to her legacy by performing tributes.
Cimorelli, a trio of sisters who upload videos of themselves singing covers to YouTube, paid homage to the singer among other admirers.
Many touring musicians, including Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Charlie Puth, paid moving tributes to Christina onstage at the time of her passing.
A month after Christina’s death, Kelly shared a video of herself performing “Blink of an Eye,” a song she penned as a memorial to the singer.
Marcus remembers how much of an influence she had, not only on YouTube and with her music, but in the lives of the people she knew, five years after her murder.
“She influences me in various ways every day,” Marcus told Insider, “And it’s more about what’s been removed out of the equation to understand what sort of everyday impact she had.”