A town in mourning. Christina Grimmie's brother, Marcus, spoke to hundreds of friends, family and fans who gathered together in Evesham, New Jersey, for a hometown vigil on Monday, June 13, in memory of the former Voice finalist, who was shot and killed after a concert in Orlando, Florida.
The 22-year-old singer was gunned down during a meet-and-greet on Friday, June 10, by a man police describe as a "deranged fan."
"Christina was awesome," Marcus, 23, told the gathering, who prayed and lit candles at the Marlton Memorial Sports Complex. "She loved this town, she loved this state, she loved singing, she loved the Lord and she loved me. She was my baby sister."
Marcus, who was his sister's tour manager, was hailed by police as a "hero" for tackling the gunman, who shot and killed himself after firing at Christina. The shooter was later identified as 27-year-old Kevin Loibl. Police are currently examining his cell phone and social media accounts to determine a motive.
"The tragedy that took place was at a free meet-and-greet post-show," Marcus told the crowd. "I missed the first glimpse, but witnesses say she was arms open wide [to the shooter]. She had no idea and she treated everybody the same."
He explained that it was hard for Christina, who found fame on YouTube before making it to the final three on season 6 of The Voice in 2014, to open up as she did with her fans because "she was introverted."
Marcus then talked about the nightclub shooting that took place in Orlando, Florida, in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, leaving 49 dead and 53 injured at a gay club called Pulse.
"About four miles from where we were staying, there was a huge tragedy to Orlando, to the U.S., the LGBT community, to the whole world," he said. "Fifty people dead, who knows who's injured, and I come home to this."
Waving his arm toward all of those who had offered him and his family support in the days after Christina's death, he continued. "I have no words … I had five people fly out [to Orlando], my mom and dad — people bought them plane tickets. Adam Levine paid for Christina's funeral … Selena [Gomez] is singing a song and crying."
"These people didn't have that," he said of the clubgoers who died at Pulse. "And we're blessed to, so I'm at a great peace right now. She's in a better place."
"You guys didn't know her like I did," he added. "She was awesome."
Us Weekly's Ian Drew and Christina Garibaldi discussed this story and more on Us Weekly's Facebook Live News Update.
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