Christopher Kelly Rapp: Tribute to the Virginia Beach Shooting Victim

Christopher Rapp

City of Virginia Beach Christopher Rapp.

Christopher Kelly Rapp, one of the 12 Virginia Beach shooting victims killed at the municipal center, was one of the newest employees of the Virginia Beach Public Works Department.

Rapp, of Powhattan, was an engineer hired 11 months before the shooting. He was 54. The mass shooting, which unfolded on May 31, 2019, in the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since 2018.

An employee opened fire on all three floors of Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center as employees were finishing their week at work, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James A. Cervera.

“There’s no way to describe an incident such as this. No chief of police anywhere in the country, no mayor, no city manager, no assistant city manager, no fire chief no rescue chief ever wants to have stand up and give information such as this,” Cervera said. “I think at this particular point, I want to give the utmost respect to the victims and to their families because they are going to be forever changed based on this particular incident.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Rapp Was A Recently Hired Engineer

Rapp was hired to work as an engineer for the Virginia Beach department of Public Works about 11 months before his death, officials said at a press conference announcing the names of the victims.

Eleven of the 12 people who died worked in the building. The 12th was a contractor applying for a permit.

“16 hours ago the lives of 12 people were cut short by a senseless and incomprehensible act of violence,” said Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen. “Overnight our chaplains, our human services, and our family assistance staff and teams completed the most difficult task anyone will ever have to do, and that is notifying the next of kin. So today, we all grieve.”

“This morning I have the responsibility to inform friends, coworkers and the public of those who lost their lives yesterday. All but one of the 12 victims were employees of the city of Virginia Beach,” he said. “I have worked with most of them for many years.”


He Was a Member of Scottish Band, Tidewater Pumps & Drums

Rapp was a fan of Scottish music who often donned a kilt to play bagpipes, according to The Washington Post

He joined the band after recently moving to Virginia Beach.

His band members said they were “heartbroken” by the loss from the “senseless shooting.”

“He was quiet but had a passion for the pipes and Scottish culture,” they wrote on Facebook.

He learned how to play the bagpipes shortly before joining the band. He learned to play bagpipes from the Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums , a bagpipe competition and performance band. The band’s Facebook page said they have a goal of promoting Scottish culture in the mid-Atlantic region.

Rapp has a wife named Bessie, according to his band’s post.


11 Other Victims Were Killed. Here are Their Names

virginia beach victims

City of Virginia BeachSome of the Virginia Beach shooting victims. From left, clockwise: Ryan Keith Cox, Alexander Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Mary Louise Gayle.

Laquita C. Brown, Chesapeake

Mary Louise Gayle, Virginia Beach

Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Virginia Beach

Katherine A. Nixon, Virginia Beach

virginia beach victims

City of Virginia BeachSome of the Virginia Beach shooting victims From left, clockwise: Richard Nettleton, LaQuita Brown, Christopher Rapp, and Joshua Hardy.

Richard H. Nettleton, Norfolk

Christopher Kelly Rapp, Powhatan

Ryan Keith Cox, Virginia Beach

Joshua A. Hardy, Virginia Beach

virginia beach victims

City of Virginia BeachSome of the Virginia Beach shooting victims. From left, clockwise: Herbert Bert Snelling, Tara Welch Gallagher, Robert “Bobby” Williams, and Michelle “Missy” Langer.

Michelle “Missy” Langer, Virginia Beach

Robert “Bobby” Williams, Chesapeake

Herbert “Bert” Snelling, Virginia Beach


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