Durham County

NC man was shot and killed by off-duty police officer near Baltimore

A screen shot picturing Chris Clapp, left, and his brother Justin Clapp from a post on Facebook.
A screen shot picturing Chris Clapp, left, and his brother Justin Clapp from a post on Facebook. FACEBOOK

A North Carolina man suspected of shoplifting laundry detergent from a grocery store was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer near Baltimore last week.

Christopher Evin Clapp, 35, died Aug. 1 after a confrontation with a Baltimore County police officer who was working as a security guard at a Giant grocery store in Catonsville, according to media reports.

Clapp grew up in Roxboro, about 50 miles northwest of Raleigh, and graduated from Clayton High School in the Triangle. He attended N.C. Central University before transferring to study music education at Towson University in Maryland.

He had been living in Baltimore, said his brother, Justin Clapp, who lives in Durham.

Justin Clapp said he won’t let the circumstances of his brother’s death shape his memory.

“So many black men have been killed by police and they are always reduced to their race, their occupation, or their behavior in the moment,” Clapp said in an interview Tuesday. “My brother was so much more. This has the potential to spin out of control and I just want him to be remembered by all of the good.”

Police in Baltimore County indicated that Christopher Clapp tried to escape in a vehicle as the off-duty police officer approached. The department identified the officer as 16-year veteran officer first class McCain, television station WJZ reported.

“The officer somehow was dragged by that vehicle as it was fleeing away,” Baltimore County police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach told television station WMAR. “He was dragged approximately 108 feet and during that time he was able to access and remove his service weapon and fire it toward the suspect.”

Justin Clapp, who is well-known locally as a drag queen and who has written for The Herald-Sun in Durham, expressed his grief on Facebook.

“Baltimore County Police killed my brother,” Clapp wrote. “There really aren’t many other words to express what it is like to hear that your brother, the person who could always make you laugh, was killed.”

He ended the post with words directed at his brother: “I want to center the conversation on your beauty, light, and talent. I will not forget you – I can’t. We look too alike and sound too similar. I will miss you, brother.”