Va. Beach shooting victim remembered by former Stafford County co-worker

Stafford County, Virginia, is planning to remember a one-time employee whose life was snatched in Friday’s shooting inside a city government building in Virginia Beach.

Christopher Rapp of Powhatan was one of 12 people who were gunned down by a city employee who had emailed his resignation only hours before attacking his colleagues.

Former co-workers describe Rapp of as a genuinely nice person, and a humble guy who deeply cared for his family.

“Chris just had a heart for people. He wanted to help other people. That was what he was all about,” said Shannon Howell, Stafford County’s community engagement manager.

She met Rapp when he came to Stafford County to direct its public works department in 2015. During his two years with Stafford “he went back and forth to Powhatan every weekend, so he didn’t have to force [his family] to make a big change in their lives to move up here,” Howell said.

She’ll also remember the funny times they shared.

“He just had a nice laugh and a [nice] smile. And he liked to joke, never at the expense of anyone else,” she said.

Howell said that Rapp’s death really stings, and his former employees are taking his death hard.

“He wanted to help people, he didn’t want a lot of credit. And he was never one to want the limelight. He just went to work to do his job, to help people,” she said.

On-site counselors will be available to grieving employees on Monday and on Wednesday. Stafford County will remember Rapp and the other victims of Friday’s shooting at an outdoor ceremony at the Armed Services Memorial on Wednesday. It’s scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

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