Christina Grimmie, former star of The Voice, has been shot dead at her Florida concert on Friday night by an unidentified suspect in a heartbreaking murder suicide.
Grimmie, 22, was attacked backstage at around 10:45pm at the Plaza Live theater while she was signing autographs – the shooter was then tackled by her brother Mark before turning the gun on himself, according to attendees.
She was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition; one witness said he saw her bleeding from the head and being given chest compressions. The gunman died on the scene. No-one else was hurt during the shooting.
At 2.45am her publicist confirmed the young star had died from her injuries.
‘It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord. She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn’t survive the gun shot wounds,’ she said.
‘We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning. If you’d like to give back to Christina’s family in her memory, please consider donating to the families GoFundMe page in their time of need.’
Orlando Police later confirmed her death on Twitter.
‘With deep regret, we have confirmed Christina Grimmie, has died from her injuries’, they said.
Josh Call told The Orlando Sentinel that he was outside the venue working at a vegan hot dog stand when he heard four or five gunshots.
‘It was quick like pow, pow, pow, pow,’ he said, adding that a security guard jolted at the sound and ran inside to find out what happened.
Call told the paper he waited outside, and went inside where he saw ‘a female’ on the ground with blood coming out of her head, and someone giving her chest compressions.
And nearby was a dead man with a ‘disfigured’ face, he said.
An officer later confirmed that only Grimmie and the shooter were hit in the incident.
One person claimed in an Instagram and Facebook post that Grimmie was hit three times, but this could not be confirmed.
The singer was signing autographs at a meet-and-greet session with supporting pop/punk band Before You Exit when the attack occurred, Orlando Police Department spokeswoman Wanda Miglio told NBC News.
The gunman reportedly opened fire on Grimmie before being tackled by her brother. As many as five gunshots were fired, WESH 2 reported.
After being taken down, the attacker – who had two guns on his person, cops said – fatally shot himself.
It’s not clear yet if he knew Grimmie.
Witnesses told WESH that a woman who appeared to be ‘badly hurt’ was seen being taken to an ambulance.
They also said the shooting occurred with many teens and children in attendance; there were around 60 people there in total, NBC reported.
‘We were waiting out there to go see (Grimmie) come out at the back of the venue, and then we just saw security running,’ Juana Villegas told The Orlando Sentinel. ‘Then a girl comes out hysterically crying and she said that someone shot themselves next to her.’
Fans were sending messages of support and good wishes on social media using the hashtag #prayforchristina.