A Maryland father of three was beaten to death in his front yard while protecting his children from a middle school fight that made its way back to the family’s home in Anne Arundel County late last week, authorities say.
Christopher Michael Wright, 43, died from a traumatic brain injury at a hospital on Saturday.
The violence reportedly occurred the day before.
At Brooklyn Park Middle School, Wright’s 14-year-old son got into a fight with another teenager on Friday afternoon and headed home, according to an account by the man’s family that was relayed to Baltimore-based NBC affiliate WBAL.
School officials reportedly confirmed the fight began on campus and are working with law enforcement on the investigation.
Wright’s fiancee, Tracy Karopchinsky, explained the terrifying events.
“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,'” she told WBAL. “Just looking at the damage that was done to him, 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. I mean, he’d had a seizure. It was done. There was nothing that the hospital could do.”
But law enforcement says it wasn’t just a teenager who followed the boy back to his home on Arundel Road West in Brooklyn. According to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the suspects are described as three to four white males in their 20s and 30s.
“On May 19, 2023, at approximately 5:00 p.m., officers responded for a report of an assault that just occurred,” the AACPD said in a press release. “The victim was transported to an area trauma center for treatment of a life-threatening injury. During their investigation, officers learned that suspects arrived at the victim’s residence in reference to an earlier altercation. A physical altercation ensued, and during that altercation, the victim sustained life-threatening injuries. On May 20, 2023, at approximately 9:45 p.m., the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital.”
Wright’s sister-in-law Kristin Karopchinsky relayed a similar version of events in comments to Inside Edition this week.
“Two men and three middle school kids came to the house to assault my nephew,” his sister-in-law said. “Chris died fighting to protect his son. He suffered a catastrophic brain injury and had no brain function by the time he made it to the hospital.”
Kristin Karopchinsky is the co-organizer of a GoFundMe for funeral costs and the obvious expenses that the man’s grieving fiancee will incur raising their children without Wright.
“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,” the fundraiser says. “These men took the life of an amazing father and life partner. He left this Earth and those who loved him way too soon.”
A candlelight vigil in Wright’s honor is scheduled for Friday.
Tracy Karopchinsky said the group attack was caught on a neighbor’s and the victim’s doorbell camera.
“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,” she told WBAL. “And I couldn’t watch anymore after that. I just couldn’t.”
No arrests have been made.
“Anyone who assisted who abetted or was an accomplice of the main suspect or the primary suspect will be culpable,” Anne Arundel County Police spokesperson Marc Limansky told WBAL.
Wright is remembered as a devoted father, his fiancee’s best friend, a man who loved stargazing and had a knack for gardening.
“He was a friend to everybody,” Tracy Karopchinsky told local CBS affiliate WJZ. “I mean, just the outpour we’ve been getting from friends and just, they’re really, really gonna miss out on somebody with a really big heart. He loved beyond.”
The couple had been together for several years.
“Chris wanted a big, beautiful church wedding with everybody there,” his fiancee told WJZ. “And I was the type of person like, ‘Well, we’ve never been to Vegas.’ I thought we had time.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]