August 18, 2022

Virginia youth pastor murders family during Thanksgiving dinner

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By Maria Perez, Newsweek From Yahoo News

A Thanksgiving dinner turned deadly after a Virginia pastor shot and killed his wife her daughter, and the daughter’s boyfriend at their Virginia home on Thursday evening, police said.

Christopher Gattis, 58, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, reported WTVR.

His victims were Jeanett Gattis, 58, her daughter, 30-year-old Candice Kunze, and Kunze’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Andrew Buthorn. All three victims died from gunshot wounds.

Authorities responded to the call around 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the body of a man in the front yard. Inside, two women were also found dead.

Police described the scene in a 911 call obtained by the outlet.

“I have one detained; be advised he shot three people … I got one male subject on the ground. He’s got two gunshots to the stomach … Sir, we have two females down in the kitchen.”

Authorities said this was a domestic dispute that turned violent. Gattis is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County jail.

Gattis was a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church located in Chester, Virginia, according to NBC12.

“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,” the church statement read.

Neighbor Mike Brown was stunned by the tragedy and said the suspect was a friend. Brown described Gattis as a gentle man.

“We were all friends. We hang out sometimes [and] cookout in the back,” neighbor Mike Brown told WTVR. “I mean every time I see them, they’re always the same way. [I] had no clue that they were having problems that I knew of, but behind closed doors is behind closed doors.”

This article was first written by Newsweek

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