CHESTER, Virginia — A Virginia youth pastor has been charged with gunning down his family during a domestic dispute over Thanksgiving dinner, cops said.
Christopher Gattis, 58, waited at the family home as police raced to the scene where they discovered the bodies of the pastor’s wife, step-daughter and her boyfriend who all lived in the house, the Chesterfield Police said.
“This appears to be domestic related,” the department said in a statement.
When cops arrived at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, they found the body of Andrew Buthorn, 36, in the front yard. His girlfriend, Candice Kunze, 30, and her mother, Jeanett Gattis, 58, were found inside.
The nature of the argument that sparked the bloodshed was not immediately clear.
Christopher Gattis was charged with three counts of first-degree murder
He serves as the youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Chester, the church said.
“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.
Fellow parishioners and neighbors said there was no sign of domestic strife and described Gattis as a devout churchgoer who stopped in the church earlier in the day for a Thanksgiving service.