Wright died after fighting off a group trying to fight his 14-year-old son
A father from Maryland was killed while defending his son from a fight caused by a schoolyard quarrel over $30, his mourning fiancée has said. Christopher Wright, 43, died after suffering traumatic brain injuries on Friday (May 19) when three teenagers and two adults, who had been searching for his son Trenton, 14, began targeting him instead.
His fiancée Tracy Karopchinsky, 44, told the New York Post that the awful confrontation followed a fight between their son Trenton and another teenager, and believes Wright may have been struck with a blunt object by the mob.
Karopchinsky said: “On Wednesday Trenton was walking near the school and a kid — not related to the [fatal] fight — came up to him and said ‘I stole $30 from your girlfriend’ or something along those lines.
“He had the money in his hands. Trenton went to get the money and in reaction, hit the kid. He hit him once and that was the end of it.”
Trenton had been suspended from school last Monday due to a previous altercation and was met on Friday morning when he was returning to school by a group of friends who began harassing him.
Wright’s fiancée has said he was beaten ‘brutally’
Karopchinsky said: “Right before lunch he walked into the bathroom there were about 20 people in there, including the one kid who wanted to fight him.
“The other kids were there to watch and video the fight.”
She explained that Trenton had a bump on his head but did not make any adults aware of the incident due to fears of another suspension.
Trenton started his walk back home at the end of school at 4pm, but was confronted again by the boy he’d fought earlier, with a brawl kicking off when another group of boys joined the fracas.
Karopchinsky said: “It became a complete brawl. Trenton was getting hit from every which way so he ended up crawling out to try and leave.
“Literally he was on the ground and crawled away. He couldn’t even tell who he was getting hit by.”
At around 4:45pm Trenton managed to escape, and started walking home when three of the boys from the confrontation arrived with two adults in tow.
Wright and Karopchinsky pictured with their children
“Their dad came in the house and said ‘your friends are outside’ not knowing what happened at school.
“My oldest son came downstairs and said ‘they’re not his friends’ and explained what was going on.”
“So their dad [Wright] came outside to tell them ‘Trenton’s not coming out, my son’s not going to fight,’” before the group threatened to break into the house and fight there, Karopchinsky explained.
“One of the adults then said “if your son’s not going to fight, you’re going to fight.’”
Wright was then attacked by the group, with Karopchinsky adding it was “a brutal thing. It wasn’t two people fight.”
“My son said his dad was thrown to the ground at one point. I know there was punching. My son said he was being slammed against the ground.”
Tryston, 16, Karopchinsky’s eldest son, ran out to assist his dad and spotted one of the boys pull something out of the car’s trunk.
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“My son has no idea what he got out of the trunk.
“We don’t know if [Wright] was hit with something,” Karopchinsky said.
She previously said the Wright’s injuries indicated he was beaten by multiple fists, saying: “You don’t get catastrophic brain damage from a fist fight.”
“[Wright] was on the ground … He’d stopped moving and the adult was still hitting him,” Karopchinsky said.
“The guy fighting him said out loud ‘Oh my God, he’s bleeding’, handed my son his dad’s necklaces that had come off, said ‘I’m sorry’ and to call 911.
“Then they all ran to the SUV and left.”
The following day Karopchinsky lay with Wright, who was in a coma in the hospital.
“I held his hands. You would have bruises from punching people. His hands weren’t swollen, nothing. He did not fight back. I don’t know how quickly he was unconscious but he never defended himself.
“The neurosurgeon came out to talk to me and explained they would do an emergency brain surgery. He had severe brain damage. The surgery lasted about three-and-a-half hours. By the time I was taken to him, his severe brain injury had turned into catastrophic brain injury.
“After the surgery they were doing constant CAT scans and they had stopped some bleeding in the brain, but he’d had a stroke and had bleeding from the brain stem [which] they couldn’t do anything about.”
Police have been reserved about their investigation into the incident, confirming on Monday they suspected three to four adults were involved in the attack.
No suspects have been named by authorities, and it was unclear if any arrests had been made by Thursday.
His sister-in-law, Kristin Karopchinsky has organised a candlelight vigil in Wright’s honour at a park near his home for Friday night.
A GoFundMe page for his family has raised about $34,000 out of its $50,000 goal.