×
+the news

Articles

Christina Grimmie's tourmates return to venue of shooting

Christina Grimmie's tourmates Before You Exit had an emotional visit to the Florida venue where the young pop star was shot on Friday (10Jun16), leaving a touching tribute to their late friend.

The 22-year-old former The Voice finalist was killed by an obsessed fan after performing at Orlando's Plaza Live on Friday, and the pop-rock group returned to the venue on Monday (13Jun16) for the first time since the incident.


The band's merchandise manager and bodyguard, Anthony Najarian, took to Twitter to share a photo of what appeared to be her designated dressing room, showcasing a vase of flowers and a white heart with the word "radiate" in the middle.


"So hard going back to the venue today to get our gear," Najarian wrote. "We left the lights on in your green room and prayed over the area of your death. I will love you for all eternity and can't wait to see you again and have an epic Smash battle."


Grimmie served as the opening act for the Orlando-based band, which is comprised of brothers Connor, Riley and Toby McDonough. Following her death, they took to Twitter to share a statement about their beloved tourmate.


"Words fail to describe how much Christina means to all of us," they wrote. "She was always a constant beam of light and energy into the hearts of everyone around her. Her care-free spirit and her laughter constantly lit up every room she entered and she always had this glisten in her eyes which was evident in her faith."


Before You Exit subsequently canceled upcoming concerts in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.


Many of Grimmie's pop star friends also took time out of their gigs over the weekend to pay tribute to the star, including Justin Bieber, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony and Selena Gomez, whose stepfather Brian Teefy discovered Grimmie in 2011 and had been her manager ever since.


Adam Levine, who served as Grimmie's coach on The Voice, has reached out to the singer's family and offered to cover her funeral expenses.


Also on Monday, Grimmie's family and friends gathered for a vigil in her hometown in Marlton, New Jersey, where her brother Mark, who tackled the shooter before turning the gun on himself, spoke to the crowd about his sibling, saying, "She loved this town, she loved this state, she loved singing, she loved the Lord and she loved me and she was my baby sister."


He also noted the other horrific gun-related incident in Orlando, when a man opened fire at a gay nightclub in the early hours of Sunday (12Jun16), killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.


"About four miles away from where we were staying, there was a huge tragedy to Orlando, to the LGBT community and to the whole world," Mark said. "I mean, 50 people dead, who knows who is injured. I have no words. All of those people that died and are suffering."