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Virginia youth pastor accused of murdering his family on Thanksgiving

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Officers have arrested youth pastor Chris Gattis after they found two women and a man shot to death at a home in Chester, Virginia.

According to WTVR News, police reported the “victims were identified as 58-year-old Jeanett L. Gattis, 30-year-old Candice L. Kunze and 36-year-old Andrew E. Buthorn.”

Police told the local news outlet that all of the victims lived in the home with the suspect and the incident appears to be a domestic problem.

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“Jeanett Gattis is the wife of Christopher Gattis. Buthorn is the boyfriend of Kunze, who is the daughter of Jeanett Gattis,” said Sgt. P.H. Zoffuto with Chesterfield Police said in a statement.

A neighbor told WTVR that the residents on the block are a “close-knit” group and they knew the family killed. Another neighbor said that he heard a gunshot in on Thanksgiving night but by the time he went outside police were already on the scene. He said that he then saw the body of one man and the youth pastor in handcuffs.

“We were all friends,” said neighbor Mike Brown. “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.”

The alleged shooter was a Grace Lutheran Church youth pastor for the middle and high school kids. A deacon told local news outlets that he was in disbelief. He described Gattis as an “excellent man.”

“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 Friday. “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.”

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Gattis is being held in the Chesterfield County Jail, and is charged with “three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of a use of a firearm in the commission of a felony,” WTVR reported.


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75 years ago: When atomic scientist Leo Szilard tried to halt dropping bombs over Japan

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As this troubled summer rolls along, and the world begins to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation, and use, of the first atomic bombs, many special, or especially tragic, days will draw special attention.  They will include July 16 (first test of the weapon in New Mexico), August 6 (bomb dropped over Hiroshima) and August 9 (over Nagasaki).   Surely far fewer in the media and elsewhere will mark another key date:  July 3.

On July 3, 1945, the great atomic scientist Leo Szilard finished a letter/petition that would become the strongest (virtually the only) real attempt at halting President Truman's march to using the atomic bomb--still almost two weeks from its first test at Trinity--against Japanese cities.

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‘Insane’: Park ranger shoots unarmed man through his heart and then handcuffs his dead body

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A ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park tased and then fatally shot a man during a New Mexico traffic stop and then handcuffed his lifeless body.

Charles "Gage" Lorentz was traveling March 21 from his work site in Pecos, Texas, to his family's home in southwest Colorado when he detoured at the national park to meet a friend, and that's where he encountered National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell, reported KOB-TV.

The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park's Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell's lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing.

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Former Trump administration official refers to a renowned Black scholar as ‘some criminal’

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President Donald Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to renowned Black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "some criminal" in an interview with The New York Times Magazine.

Sessions, one of Trump's earliest supporters who was later fired after years of attacks from the president, is currently attempting to reclaim his old Senate seat in Alabama. Sessions has desperately tried to tout his Trumpist credentials on the campaign trail, even as the president has waged a campaign aimed at sabotaging his primary bid.

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