Youth pastor charged with murdering family on Thanksgiving

AN AMERICAN youth pastor has been arrested in the shooting deaths of his wife, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter's boyfriend in their home on Thanksgiving Day, police said.

Virginia man Christopher Gattis, 58, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

 

Jeanett Gattis and her daughter Candice Kunzeg were killed. Picture: Facebook
Jeanett Gattis and her daughter Candice Kunzeg were killed. Picture: Facebook

Police arriving at the family's home in the small town of Chester around 11:30pm and found the women's bodies inside and the man's body in the front yard, officials said.

Authorities identified the victims as Jeanett Gattis, 58; her daughter Candice "Candy" Kunze, 30; and Kunze's boyfriend, Andrew Buthorn, 36. All of them lived together in the home, police said.

Neighbours said Kunze recently moved back home from Oregon, with Buthorn joining her. Neighbours also said the family runs a furniture store in nearby Petersburg, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported.

Andrew Buthorn was murdered by his girlfriend’s stepfather, police say. Picture: Facebook
Andrew Buthorn was murdered by his girlfriend’s stepfather, police say. Picture: Facebook

Gattis was a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, where he was a ministries coordinator for middle school and high school students.

"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 was being held at Chesterfield County Jail without bond. He was scheduled to appear in General District Court on Monday and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.


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