Youth pastor arrested after killing family on Thanksgiving, police say

By: Matt Naham, Rare.us

Updated:

CHESTER, Va. - A youth pastor was arrested after his wife, stepdaughter and his stepdaughter’s boyfriend were found shot to death at the family’s home, police say.

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Christopher Gattis, 58, was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder and other counts for allegedly shooting his wife Jeanett Gattis, 58, her daughter Candice Kunze, 30, and Andrew Buthorn, 36, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The four were living in the home together after the stepdaughter moved back in with her boyfriend six weeks ago, according to reports. The motive behind the slayings is still unknown.

One witness said he thought the shooting was actually “firecrackers” and that he “didn’t think much of it” at the time.

Neighbors Larry and Chris Patton, who moved into a home on the cul-de-sac two years ago, described the Gattises as “good people.”

“They were good people. (Christopher Gattis would) do anything for you. He was always quick to laugh. He had a hearty laugh,” Larry Patton told the Times-Dispatch. “They welcomed us to the neighborhood. It’s just sad that their Thanksgiving ended that way.”

Gattis was a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.

“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,” the church said in a statement.

Gattis is being held without bail.

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