By: Kyle James | 11-25-2017 | News
Photo credit: Chesterfield County Police

Youth Pastor Arrested For Thanksgiving Day Triple Murder

Thanksgiving Day marked the end for a family of three in Chesterfield County, Virginia after a youth pastor shot and killed his wife, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, officers found the body of Andrew E. Buthorn, 36, in the front yard of a home on Dogwood Ridge Court. Two women were also found inside the residence who were identified as Jeanett L. Gattis, 58, and L. Kunze, 30.

Police found 58-year-old Christopher R. Gattis, inside the home and he was taken into custody. Gattis was married to Jeanett Gattis, the mother of Kunze and Bathorn was Kunze boyfriend. Authorities are still trying to piece together what happened but they do know all four lived at the home.

Gattis is facing three murder charges and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church on Harrowgate Road in Chester and the church's website features a picture of him in a tuxedo that was also used as his Facebook photo.

The church is listed as Gattis employee since 2014 and his employers issued a statement over the charges, "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's statement continued, "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."

Neighbors were shocked to find out the firecracker noises they heard were murders just houses away. "I wouldn’t expect anything like that to happen here," one neighbor said. They said Jeanett Gattis' daughter went by the name Candy and had moved back around six weeks ago from Oregon and brought her boyfriend.

"They were good people," another neighbor named Larry Patton said. He described Christopher Gattis as especially nice. "He’d do anything for you. He was always quick to laugh. He had a hearty laugh. It’s just sad that their Thanksgiving ended that way."

Patton also said he didn't hear or see any disagreements among the family that night or previously. Gattis is being held currently in Chesterfield County Jail without bail.

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