Robbed from her lifetime with the man she calls her “light,” Tracy Karopchinsky is now left a single mother of three children after her fianceé, Christopher Wright, who while trying to defend his family, was beaten to death outside their home.
Friday, May 19 was the last day that brothers Tevin, Trystan and Trenton would return home from school and be greeted by their loving father, Christopher Wright, 43.
“(Mom) would usually be at work and like he would be the one person to take care of us every weekday,” said Tevin, the youngest of the trio. “I would get home and I would see him, which would make me smile.”
It was around 5 p.m. on May 19, when Wright, standing between his children and a group of thugs who came to his door, was killed after having his head beaten several times on the concrete outside his home.
Police report that two men and three teenagers approached the home where Wright lived with his fiancée, and the three children that he cared for with Tracy Karopchinsky.
After refusing the suspects’ demands to see his partner’s 14-year-old, who according to reports was to continue an earlier fight started at Brooklyn Park Middle School with another teen, Wright became the target, in what family says was retaliation. (WJZ)
“Chris came out to tell them, like, he’s not coming out here to fight, and they threatened at one point to come in and get him, and then they said, ‘If he’s not going to fight, then you’re going to fight,'” Tracy said in an interview with local news station, 11 News. She also said their sons were in the home when Wright was bludgeoned.
Newly acquired footage from DailyMail shows how the group approach Wright’s residence intending to start a fight. The father is seen throwing the first punch, prompting the group to swarm him and unleash a flurry of strikes before violently throwing him to the ground.
When Anne Arundel County Police arrived at the home, about a seven-minute walk from the school, local fire was already there, trying to revive the father, who was unresponsive and then taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The incident was caught on security cameras belonging to the victim and a neighbor. Trying to review the footage while waiting at the trauma unit, and hoping for Wright’s recovery, Tracy said that reliving the horrifying events that led to his death was too painful.
She couldn’t watch the recording beyond the moment that captured her 12-year-old son running out, onto the street to help his dad.
Tracy said, “I was at Shock Trauma, and initially, my dad and I tried to go onto the camera to look, and the first video that comes up is my 12-year-old son screaming, ‘Daddy, daddy, daddy,’ and running out of the house into the street to go help his dad. And, I couldn’t watch anymore after that. I just couldn’t.”
About 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, Wright died of traumatic brain injury.
“Just looking at the damage, that wasn’t just punching that did that. Like, there’s no way that punching did that. The damage was done before the ambulance ever took him away,” Tracy said. He’d had a seizure. It was done…There was nothing the hospital could do.”
Reflecting on how their relationship started, Tracy said she met Wright, about eight years ago, as co-workers.
“One Friday, ‘the next Friday’, he asked, ‘can we have a beer together after work?’ I said well, ‘if it’s Friday, I guess if I’m drinking a beer and you’re drinking a beer, we’ll have a beer together,’ and we’ve been together ever since,” Tracy said, adding that they often talked about changing their status from engaged to married. “Chris wanted a big, beautiful church wedding with everybody there. And I was the type of person like, well we’ve never been to Vegas. I thought we had time,” she said.
But, their time ran out.
“He was a friend to everybody,” Tracy said of Wright’s huge heart. “I mean, just the outpour we’ve been getting from friends and just, they’re really, really (going to) miss out on somebody with a really big heart. He loved beyond.”
“I’ll never forget the sound, I’ll never forget the noise my nephews made when we had to tell them he was gone,” said Kristin Karopchinsky, the victim’s future sister-in-law.
Tracy is warning parents that teen violence has gone too far and said parents need advocate change.
“They didn’t just ruin our lives. Their lives are going to be changed forever. Their parents’ lives are going to be changed forever, and nobody thinks about that just from a fight,” Tracy said. “It is everywhere, and somewhere, we as parents are failing these children as parents. It’s not the school’s responsibility. It’s our responsibility.”
A GoFundMe page, that’s raised almost $35,000 of the $50,000, was created by her sister Kristin to cover funeral costs and to help her sister, who’s now a single mother of three children. She said, “Chris went outside to defend his son and was beaten in the head and his head was slammed on the concrete repeatedly causing significant brain damage.” She continued, “These men took the life of an amazing father and life partner. He left this earth and those who loved him way too soon.”
People from around the world are sending their love to the family, offering condolences and support.
One donor, a stranger to the family, writes, “Our world is changing. People need to stand up for what is right. Your fiancé did…god rest his soul. I hope the perpetrators are found quickly and prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. She continued, “I’m a complete stranger touched deeply about what has happened and am sending you and your children loving thoughts and strength during this extremely difficult time. Please know that not all people are evil like the ones that have committed this heinous crime.”
As of Thursday, police have not released any updates, nor have they made any arrests in the incident they are treating as a homicide.
“Anyone who assisted who abetted or was an accomplice of the main suspect or the primary suspect will be culpable,” Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Marc Limansky told local news of the investigation.
“The world lost a light” Karopchinsky said of Wright.
The family is holding a candlelight vigil , in a location not yet disclosed, to honor Wright’s life.
This incident is the perfect example of how a simple situation can so quickly grow out of control. Though we don’t know what the boys were brawling over in the schoolyard, we do know that nothing is worth the loss of a life.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to Tracy Karopchinsky and her family and we hope that people will learn from this terrible situation.