A youth pastor from Virginia has been accused of the gruesome triple murder of his wife, stepdaughter and her boyfriend, Thursday, Thanksgiving evening. It is believed a domestic dispute turned deadly when the man shot the three members of the family at his home in Chester.

Christopher Gattis, 58, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The Chesterfield County police officers found the body of the man in the front yard while bodies of two women were found inside the house, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The police authorities identified the victims as Jeanett L. Gattis, 58, her daughter Candice L. Kunze, 30, and Kunze’s boyfriend, Andrew E. Buthorn, 36. All of them lived together in the home, the police said.

Gattis was a youth pastor at the Grace Lutheran Church and served as a ministries coordinator for middle school and high school students.

The website of the Grace Lutheran Church Friday night read, “Members of Grace Lutheran Church are deeply saddened by the loss of life Thursday night as a result of three individuals being shot in Chester and this tragedy included members of Grace Lutheran Church.” 

The statement on the website added, “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.”

The shocked neighbors confirmed Gattis’s role in the church and also said his family ran a Lighthouse Furniture store in Petersburg, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported.

A neighbor, Mike Brown, was shocked after hearing about the incident and said the suspect, Gattis, was his friend and a gentle man, according to a report in WTVR.

Brown said, “We were all friends. We hang out sometimes [and] cook out in the back. I mean every time I see them they're always the same way. … I had no clue that they were having problems that I knew of, but behind closed doors is behind closed doors.”

A deacon at Grace Lutheran Church on Harrowgate Road in Chester confirmed to the WTVR Gattis was a full-time youth pastor in the church and added he could not believe the allegations put on him. He called Gattis an excellent man.

Gattis was being held at Chesterfield County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear in General District Court on Monday and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Tuesday, reported the New York Post.