Virginia youth pastor held in Thanksgiving slaying of family members

A Virginia 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.

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.

Police arriving at the family's Chester, Va., home around 11:30 p.m. 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.

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

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.