Christina Grimmie’s older brother Marcus tackled her killer to the ground, potentially saving other lives. Now he’s being hailed as a hero for his actions.
YouTube sensation and contestant on Season 6 of “The Voice,” Christina Grimmie was shot and killed Friday night by Kevin James Loibl, who was carrying two handguns, two additional loaded magazines of ammunition and a large hunting knife. She was chatting with and signing autographs for fans when Loibl opened fire at Orlando’s Plaza Live Theater.
“This white male approached her and opened fire, striking her,” Orlando police chief John Mina said. “Almost immediately, her brother, Marcus Grimmie, tackled the suspect to the ground. Shortly after that the suspect killed himself.”
The New Jersey native, who goes by Mark, is a hero who instinctively tackled his sister’s killer before he could hurt anyone else. He appears as strong emotionally as he is brave, encouraging fans to sign a petition to have his sister remembered in her favorite video game and even promoting a candlelight vigil.
“Very heroic actions by Marcus Grimmie to jump in definitely could have prevented further loss of life there,” Mina said.
Quick glances at his Instagram and Facebook profiles reveal that Mark and Christina were extremely close. He was on tour with her, serving as a road manager. Mark regularly appeared on Grimmie’s social accounts, starting with early YouTube videos that attracted millions of views before her appearance on “The Voice.”
In some of the videos, he plays guitar while Grimmie sings and plays piano, and his Facebook page mentions that he used to work with Selena Gomez, who was close with Christina. In fact, the slain singer’s longtime manager Brian Teefey is Gomez’s stepfather and the person behind the GoFundMe page to assist Grimmie’s family.
Hours after witnessing his sister’s murder, Mark spoke out in her honor.
“Christina was more than my sister. She was a partner in life. A superstar. A goofball. Introverted. And a friend to everyone. Genuinely. But above all…she was my baby sister. She loved the Lord and her family and was always there for me and I honestly don’t know what ill do without her,” Mark wrote on Facebook.
Grimmie’s Facebook post concluded: “But please, if you are reading this far, I would love all and any of you to post pics of you and her and/or memories you have of her down in the comments. I will cherish it forever and always. So please do that for me. Thank you all so so much. The support has been crazy and I do feel a peace. I just don’t have any words. I love you all.”
A musician himself, Mark mentions that his childhood idol was Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was shot and killed by a gunman while on stage during a performance in 2004.
“I can’t believe..my favorite guitarist, My idol growing up, is now in the same sentence as my Best friend and baby sister,” Mark wrote on Facebook.
Back in 2014 he spoke about his sister to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I’m done being surprised by cool things she does,” he told the paper. “She’s very talented and she’s worked incredibly hard — it’s a dangerous combination.”