(AP)- A gunman opened fire at a Florida concert venue as singer Christina Grimmie signed autographs for fans after a show, killing the onetime star of “The Voice” before shooting and killing himself, officials said Saturday.
A publicist for Grimmie, Heather Walsh, said in an email early Saturday that “we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord.” The Orlando Police Department also confirmed on its official Twitter page that Grimmie had died.
Police said in a news release that the 22-year-old singer had performed with the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando. The concert ended around 10 p.m., and Grimmie was shot as she signed autographs for fans at a merchandise table.
Grimmie’s brother immediately tackled the gunman, who then shot and killed himself during the struggle, police said. The gunman was not identified, and police have not said why he attacked the singer. An investigation is ongoing, but police credited the singer’s brother with preventing the gunman from hurting others.
Grimmie, a New Jersey native, finished third during season six of NBC’s “The Voice,” competing on the team of Maroon 5 star Adam Levine. She began amassing a following on YouTube as a teenager, gripping online viewers with her powerful renditions of hit songs. Several of her videos on YouTube have garnered millions of views.
When reports of Grimmie’s death first surfaced, #PrayforChristina was the top trending hashtag on Twitter. After her death was confirmed, #RIPChristina became the top trending hashtag as Grimmie’s fans took to social media to express an outpouring of grief.
“The Voice” paid tribute to Grimmie on its official Twitter page: “There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice.”