Christina Grimmie killed by 'infatuated' fan; Orlando police close case

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Friday, June 24, 2016

The man who murdered Christina Grimmie following a June 10 concert lived "like a hermit" and had apparently never met the singer, but was infatuated with her and had spent recent months changing his appearance in an effort to win her over, according to information released on Wednesday by police in Orlando, Florida.

Christina Grimmie in 2014
Image: Justin Higuchi.

Kevin James Loibl, age 27, took a taxicab to Orlando on June 9 from his St. Petersburg home, bringing along two 9mm Glock handguns and extra ammunition. He spent that night in a hotel. Following Grimmie's June 10 performance at The Plaza Live, he approached her as she signed autographs and opened fire, shooting her in the head once and the torso three times. Grimmie's brother Marcus then tackled Loibl, who broke free, backed against a wall, and killed himself with a single shot to the head.

Christina Grimmie was pronounced dead at Orlando Regional Medical Center just before 11:00 p.m. She was buried in a private ceremony in her hometown in New Jersey on June 16. A public memorial in nearby Medford attracted thousands of family, friends and fans.

Police interviewed several of Loibl's co-workers including Cory Dennington, self-described as Loibl's "only friend in the world", who said Loibl had an unrealistic infatuation with her and was constantly watching her videos and monitoring her online activity. Dennington said Loibl had lost weight, whitened his teeth, and gotten eye and hair surgery in an effort to look better for Grimmie, whom he considered his "soul mate". Loibl would get defensive when told hoping for a relationship with the singer was "illogical".

Witnesses also said Loibl had not mentioned attending Grimmie's Orlando concert, and none of them knew of any threats. His father and brother did not know Loibl owned any guns, police said. Each weapon was purchased legally at one of two St. Petersburg gun shops.

Investigators were unable to crack the encryption on Loibl's phone, and it appeared he had destroyed his computer's hard drive. Police believe Loibl acted alone and, since he is deceased, they closed their case on Wednesday. They offered no motive for the shooting.


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