Bandmates, Colleagues Honor Former Stafford Co. Official Slain in VA Beach

Christopher Rapp was a former Stafford County director of Public Works and a member of the Tidewater Pipes & Drums band

Bandmates and former colleagues honored the memory of a former Stafford County official who was among the 12 people killed Friday when a Virginia Beach city worker opened fire in a municipal building.

Christopher Rapp was a former Stafford County director of Public Works.

On Wednesday, the county paid a tearful tribute to Rapp during a memorial service.

"Well, I tell you, it's a very emotional time for all of us ," said Gary Snellings, chair of the Stafford Board of Supervisor. "And to see him, just a kind unassuming man, leave this world the way he did was just horrific."

Kathy Baker, assistant director of Planning and Zoning, said she was "shell- shocked. I can't believe it happened. I'm just glad to see all these people turning out to remember him as well as the other victims."

Even county leaders chocked up and wiped away tears as they spoke of him.

"He was probably one of the most patient people you'd ever meet," said Jason Towery, Stafford County's current director of Public Works. 

Rapp had moved to Virginia Beach less than a year ago and was working as an engineer for the Virginia Beach city government when he was slain.

Rapp also played music with a band called the Tidewater Pipes & Drums, which he joined after moving from Stafford County, his friends said.

Bandmates said on Facebook that in lieu of their weekly rehearsal Wednesday, the band would perform a tribute to the Virginia Beach shooting victims at the city's municipal center.

"Our plan is to have solo pipers play 11 verses of 'Amazing Grace' at the memorial crosses in front of Bldg. 11," the band posted. "For the 12th and final verse, we will all play for our fallen friend and bandmate, Chris Rapp."

They planned to form a traditional band circle, leaving a "missing man" next to the pipe major, and perform a few of Chris' favorite tunes, the band said.

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