Video: Youth Pastor arrested after shooting his wife, step-daughter and her boyfriend dead on Thanksgiving (Photos)
Police have arrested a Virginia youth Pastor for allegedly killing three people on Thanksgiving night around 11:30 p.m on Thursday.
The suspect, Christopher R. Gattis, 58, a full-time cleric at Grace Lutheran Church on Harrowgate Road, was arrested at his Chester
home when officers reported to the scene and discovered his wife, Jeanette Gattis, 58, her daughter, Candice Kunze, 30 and the
daughter’s boyfriend, Andrew Buthorn, 36, were shot dead.
Before he was arrested neighbours confirmed they heard multiple gunshots just before midnight.
When Officials got the scene, they said the women’s bodies were found inside the home and that the man’s body was found in the
Sgt. P.H. Zoffuto with the Chesterfield County Police Department in a news release, said:
“The victims and suspect all lived at the residence in the 14000 block of Dogwood Ridge Court and this incident appears to be
domestic related. Jeanett Gattis is the wife of Christopher Gattis. Buthorn is the boyfriend of Kunze, who is the daughter of
He also added that Police investigation into the incident is ongoing to unravel the motive the behind tragic killings.
Gattis, who neighbours described as a gentleman, is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail, faces charges
including three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Clergy: Suspect is ‘excellent man’
Additionally, sources and neighbours said the suspect was a youth pastor a local church.
A deacon at Grace Lutheran Church on Harrowgate Road in Chester confirmed Gattis was a full-time youth pastor there. He said he was in disbelief about the allegations and called the suspect an “excellent man.”
Another church member said Gattis was frequently at church, including on Thursday for the congregation’s Thanksgiving feast.
The church released a statement Friday afternoon:
Members of Grace Lutheran Church are deeply saddened by the loss of life last night as a result of three individuals being shot in Chester and this tragedy included members of Grace Lutheran Church. Grace Lutheran Church has experienced many hardships over the years, but this heartbreak has unique challenges. Grace Lutheran Church asks for the prayers from the community as our congregation begins the process of addressing the grief being experienced by everyone involved.
Police said their investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.