Youth pastor charged with killing three family members Thanksgiv - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Youth pastor charged with killing three family members Thanksgiving night

Christopher Gattis (Source: Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office) Christopher Gattis (Source: Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office)
Candy Kunze and Jeanett Lau (Source: Facebook) Candy Kunze and Jeanett Lau (Source: Facebook)
Candy Kunze (Source: Facebook) Candy Kunze (Source: Facebook)
Andrew Buthorn (Source: Facebook) Andrew Buthorn (Source: Facebook)
Jeanett Gattis (Source: Facebook) Jeanett Gattis (Source: Facebook)

A youth pastor from Chester is charged with three counts of murder after police say he shot and killed his wife, step-daughter and his step-daughter's boyfriend Thanksgiving night.

According to police, 58-year-old Christopher Gattis shot and killed 58-year-old Jeanett Gattis, 30-year-old Candice Kunze and 36-year-old Andrew Buthorn.

Officials say all three victims were shot in the back. 

Gattis is currently being held at Riverside Regional Jail for the triple-murder and was denied bond at his first court appearance Monday morning. 

Thanksgiving triple-murder suspect was charged with assault in 2012

Police responded to the 1400 block of Dogwood Ridge Court off Harrowgate Road around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

911 recordings described a horrific scene:

"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."

When officers arrived, they found Buthorn's body in the front yard. Inside, Jeanett Gattis and Kunze were also found dead. 

Jeanett Gattis worked at Napier Realtors in accounting for 15 years.

"She was a wonderful employee. She had been with us over 15 years, very dedicated. It's just tragic beyond words really. I don't really know what to say. And she was wonderful lady. I'm shocked," said Jim Napier.

The suspect, Christopher Gattis, is a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.

Grace Lutheran Church leaders tell NBC 12 they're denying all media inquiries until further notice to let church-goers grieve.

However, the church released the following statement:

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.

Friend of victim: Suspect in Chester triple homicide had anger issues

On Friday, neighbors were trying to grasp what happened. 

"It's just tragic, and I'm shocked. I don't even know what to say," said Larry Patton. "All the blue lights down the street all night long, I'm still awake. I couldn't sleep."

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help the victims' family. 

Patton says his mind was focused on the family he knows inside.

"They're just the type of people who would do anything for you," he said. 

Patton says a husband and wife, their daughter and her boyfriend were living in the home.

"They welcomed us when we were moving in," he said. "We went over had a couple glasses of wine."

Patton says the crime doesn't make sense and still has a lot of questions. 

Family member Adam Lau posted to Facebook that a memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for Jeanett Gattis and Kunze on Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church, 13028 Harrowgate Road in Chester. 

"Please carpool," Lau posted. "There will be a lot of people to honor my mother and sister."  

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