ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police say the motive for the gunman who traveled to Orlando to shoot and kill Christina Grimmie, a former competitor on "The Voice," is still unclear and that it appears Grimmie and the gunman did not know each other.
Grimmie, 22, was signing autographs about 30 minutes after the concert ended at The Plaza Live on Bumby Street Friday night when the gunman, only identified as a white male around 21 years old, walked toward her and shot her, police said.
Grimmie's brother immediately tackled the gunman, who shot himself during a struggle, police said. The shooter, who had two guns, two loaded magazines and a hunting knife, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Grimmie, of New Jersey, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died, officials said.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a news conference on Saturday that the gunman was not from Orlando and that he had traveled from another city in Florida to commit the crime, then had plans to travel back. It's not clear where the gunman came from.
Police said they will identify the gunman later Saturday and that they are searching his cellphone to find a motive for the shooting. Police said there is no indication that Grimmie knew the gunman.
Up to 100 people attended the show, which Grimmie was performing with the band Before You Exit, but no other injuries were reported.
Police said there are no metal detectors inside The Plaza Live concert venue and that patrons were not patted down and searched. Security guards did search the bags of attendees, according to police.
"There are no metal detectors," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. "As far as I'm aware, people are not patted down."
Mina adds the venue did not hire any additional off-duty law enforcement to assist with security.
"We're talking about young kids," the chief said. "This isn't a crowd that you would suspect would be carrying guns at a venue like this."
The chief tells News 6 his department has not had any problems with the venue.
"We never had an issue here that I'm aware of, especially anything of this magnitude," Mina said.
The Plaza Live released a statement Saturday, canceling all activities and events at the venue until further notice.
"We appreciate everyone's understanding and support during this traumatic time," the statement read, adding that grief counselors will be provided to all involved.
"The board and the staff at The Plaza Live Venue are deeply saddened by the tragic events of Friday evening," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost as well of those who witnessed and aided in the recovery after this senseless act."
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