Local News

Angier church: Pastor shot son-in-law in self defense

Posted October 12, 2013
Updated October 14, 2013

— Harnett County authorities say a Raleigh man was fatally shot by his father-in-law Saturday morning at a home near Angier during what initially was reported to authorities as a domestic disturbance.

Sheriff's deputies received a report shortly before 11 a.m. of someone communicating threats at a home at 11378 N.C. Highway 210 North. Six minutes later, they received another call in which emergency dispatchers learned that the caller had shot Christian Lamar Griggs.

Griggs, 23, of 19530 Colbert Creek Loop, was pronounced dead at WakeMed.

The shooter, investigators said, lives at the house and was present when deputies arrived.

No charges had been filed against Pat Chisenhall as of Monday, authorities said.

Property records show that Chisenhall and his wife own the home at the address where Saturday's shooting occurred.

Members of the Abundant Life Worship Center in Angier, which Chisenhall founded 25 years ago, said they were "heartbroken" but that their pastor acted in self-defense.

"The son-in-law tried to break into the house, threaten them," said Gary Adcock, a church member of 23 years. "He had no other recourse but to do what he did."

Adcock said Griggs and his wife had recently separated and that she moved back home. The Chisenhall family, he said, filed for a restraining order against Griggs on Friday.

Adcock said Griggs was also a part of the church family. 

"He was a young, energetic, great guy. He had a great personality. Something just snapped," Adcock said. "Actually he was baptized (here) three weeks ago."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Genie v2.0 Oct 21, 2013

    Monami - by law the hearing following the expart must be within 10 days. She left the home, so she did not have him removed obviously. REgardless of how she got the very temporary order, she had it. Not sure ifyou are familiar with abusers but let me say this, there are MANY that if they got served with a summons to come to court for that hearing first, many women would end up dead or severely abused. The exparte is granted showing there is a reasonable expectation that the plantiff could be in danger but not getting surprise protection first

  • monami Oct 17, 2013

    I wonder if the restraining order was obtained ex parte, or via a court hearing? An ex parte order is immediate and the party banned from contact is not present and has no opportunity to present his position. Ex parte orders stand until a hearing can be held.

  • lgunn10 Oct 17, 2013

    @ truthharnett. Who said that there were drugs involved? My questions are: If the police were called, why then less than 3 minutes Griggs was shot? Also, which hospital is closer, the new one in Lillington or Wake Med? I just don't like when one side of a story is known. No matter how flat a pancake, there is always two sides. This can not be ruled self-defense until proper investigation has been completed. I'm sure no one meant for this to happen, but lets not jump to the conclusion that the only thing the pastor could do was shoot Griggs, even after he just gotten off the phone with the police. Lets have an investigation and admit, that no one really knows what exactly took place. I would believe a pastor could deal with a situation as minor as an argument and not allow it to escalate to the event that took place.

  • shinedown Oct 17, 2013

    Everybody does have problems in life & can nobody really say what one would do when faced with certain issues but this was a tragedy...NOT AN ARGUMENT,or to say who will have empty hearts or be able to move on because he was also a husband & also a father to a beautiful little girl which then includes the Chisenhalls & will never be the same either, prayer & peace should be giving

  • lumbeesister Oct 16, 2013

    I don't read anyone pointing fingers. But unless you were there when the shooting occurred, you can't really know what happened. You're simply repeating what you have been told.

    And, did you personally know Christian? Or his family? Or are you simply repeating what you've been told.

    I'm not judging the Chisenhalls. They will recover and move on with their lives. But no matter how this situation ends, only one family will always have an empty place during family gatherings and a tremendous hole in their hearts - Christian's family will never be the same again.

    I knew Christian and his family. They are fine people.

  • truthharnett Oct 16, 2013

    Wake2013 you have a lot of knowledge of the 2 involved but a preacher counseling someone with issues should be only between preacher the someone and god. Not everybody who knows the preacher

    Speaks volumes of who to not talk with

  • truthharnett Oct 16, 2013

    Regardless of personal issues or drug abuse The Lord never gives up on his people. Do not be so quick to give up on others with problems in life. Because everybody has some personal problems in life. You and I included

  • monami Oct 15, 2013

    "This is such a tragedy. Christian was one of the finest young men around. Surely his family deserves to know what really happened and the Harnett County Sheriff's Dept needs to conduct a real investigation. For now, the Chisenhalls need to cooperate with the Griggs family and allow them to bury their beloved and only son."

    lumbeesister, I agree. Hopefully an investigation is underway. Not sure why Chisenhalls need to cooperate though for the family to be "allowed" to bury thei son. :(

  • monami Oct 15, 2013

    Actually, there is nothing in the article at 2pm Tues, Oct 15 stating that this is still under investigation.

    That's the question: is this being investigated, as in a "bona fide investigation"?

  • monami Oct 15, 2013

    Waiting for the follow up story about the death investigation of Christian Griggs' death. Tick tock, WRAL...