Pipes and Drums band honors bandmate killed in Virginia Beach mass shooting: ‘He made us better’

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A vigil was held in Virginia Beach for one of the victims of Friday's mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

Christopher Rapp was killed on Friday when a gunman stormed his workplace, killing him and 11 others.

For the Tidewater Pipes and Drums band, his death hit close to home.

"It was every bit of horrible as you might imagine, Chris was a bandmate, played bagpipes with our band."

The Powhatan native joined the band last year, "he came to us from Richmond actually, and played with the Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums," bandmate Jeff Christman said.

Christman says Rapp came in without missing a beat.

"And that was Chris. He fit right in. And the better part of the year he's been our bandmate and our friend, always there to do whatever needs to be done."

What was normally a band practice night turned into a tribute Wednesday evening for Chris and his fellow coworkers.

"If Chris can't come to band practice, we can come to Chris."

"We played a solo for each of the folks we lost. 12 folks, you had a solo played by a piper and then when we got around to Chris, the whole band played," Christman said. "Then we played a set, several pieces of music, that he would`ve liked to play. He would`ve been with us tonight, for what had not happened Friday night.'

As the band heads home from their first practice without Rapp, they know his seat will always be filled in their hearts.

"As you can see I`m old, these guys are young. When they get to my age, they`ll say there was this guy, Chris and he played with us, made us better and I want to be like him."

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