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Enhancing Security Measures: Legacy and Lessons of Christina Grimmie's Tragic Incident

Christina Grimmie was a song writer, singer, and You Tuber. Her You Tube channel reached over one million views. She was a contestant on the sixth season of "The Voice." On June 10th, 2016 she had just performed at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida and was doing a post-concert meet and greet for her fans. A 27-year old obsessed male traveled a couple hours to see her. He went to the concert. At the end of the concert he stood in line for the meet and greet. When he was up to meet Grimmie, she extended her arms to give him a hug and he shot her approximately three to five times (various reports) at point blank range. Grimmie subsequently died of her injuries.

"You don't know what you don't know" is a quote that simply means that you are not aware of people that might be out there and you have no clue that they're out there. There were no emails from the suspect. No evidence that the suspect had attended other concerts or events. Grimmie had never met the suspect or had any communication with or from the suspect. Some of his friends knew he had an obsession with Grimmie but they mostly laughed about it. He was not considered a tough or violent person and no one was afraid of him.

Most concerts, big and small, have some form of security. Whether it's checking tickets, guiding patrons to locations within the venue, or monitoring certain areas inside the venue. The security at an event may not be security in the traditional sense as they might be more service oriented. There was no dedicated bodyguard with Grimmie that we know of and it really is uncertain where the venue staff was located at the time of the incident. So how do you stop such a tragedy?

There should be one standing with the talent and someone controlling the line. At many of Grimmie's events the crowds were able to approach her from various directions which would make it difficult to observe and engage a threat. With a regimented line to approach the talent it's easier to control the crowd. One person control's the crowd and the security person next to the talent would watch the approach of the fan. Are they friendly? Are they happy to be there? Or are they stoic with no emotions? Are their hands in their pockets? If their hands are in their pockets it might be time to step a little closer to the fan as they approach. Most venue and event security personnel are unarmed.

The suspect was armed with two handguns, extra ammunition, and a hunting knife. It was reported that there were no metal detectors at the venue and no physical inspections conducted. Even if security looked through purses the weapons would not have been caught on the suspect by security personnel.

So what really did happen from a security perspective? It appears by all accounts that security was very relaxed on their procedures for this event. Maybe perhaps of Grimmie's status as an up and coming star as opposed to a current star she did not get the extra security attention that she deserved. The demographics of her fans were mostly young females. It's possible that the venue didn't consider an unassuming stalker showing up at the event.

Her brother Marcus was the true hero on that day and might have prevented a mass shooting. We will never know because the suspect took his own life.

"After a shooting has taken someone they love, family members are left grieving and feeling powerless, alone and overwhelmed. They begin to believe their only choice is to give up."


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