Cops have arrested the suspect accused of killing golf pro Gene Siller and two other men at Pinetree Country Club golf course in Georgia last weekend, it has been reported.
Bryan Rhoden was arrested in Thursday in the city of Chamblee, about 30 miles from the gold course, with the help of a fugitive task force, according to WSB-TV.
Cobb County Police say golf pro Gene Siller, 46, was shot in the head by an unidentified gunman at Pinetree Country Club in suburban Atlanta on Saturday after ‘witnessing an active crime‘ unfolding.
The mystery surrounding the murder of a pro-golfer at a Georgia country club had deepened after police revealed the two other men who were also shot dead were out-of-state residents with no known ties to the area.
Siller, who was director of golf at the club and a married father-of-two, was not playing at the time but was walking towards the 10th hole after hearing that a white Ram 3500 pickup truck was being driven onto the course by the suspect.
Siller, who was director of golf at the club and a married father-of-two, was not playing at the time but was walking towards the 10th hole after hearing that a white Ram 3500 pickup truck was being driven onto the course by the suspect
Siller was director of golf at the club and a married father-of-two. He is survived by his wife Ashley and their two sons, aged 6 and 7
Police believe Siller was shot dead after approaching the truck, which had become stuck in a sand trap. His body was found on the green close to the vehicle when police arrived on the scene.
The bodies of two other men – Paul Pierson, 76, of Kansas; and Henry Valdez, 46, of California – were then found dumped in the bed of the truck with gunshot wounds.
The truck being driven by the gunman was registered to Pierson.
Pierson and Valdez were from out-of-state and had no known links to the area or the country club, according to police.
It is not clear if Pierson and Valdez knew each other. Pierson is believed to have been in Atlanta for business, according to family friends.
Police have not confirmed if the crime Siller witnessed was the killing of the two men or another offense. Other golfers on the scene recalled hearing five or six gunshots.
Pinetree reopened the golf course on Wednesday and Siller’s widow Ashley laid flowers at the 10th hole where her husband was murdered. The hole will remain closed for play for now, according to the club
The gunman fled the scene before authorities arrived and remains on the run five days after the triple homicide.
The public safety office for nearby Kennesaw State University had put out an alert immediately after the shooting describing the suspect as a 6-foot-1-inch Hispanic male with long hair, dark-colored work pants and a white or tan shirt.
In the days before the incident, Siller had confronted a man who had been fishing on the golf course and the man became so agitated that Siller called the police, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.
It is unclear if the incidents are related.
Police have released few details about the investigation.
‘We are aware that the public has many questions, the most pressing one being why this happened; however, it is too early in the investigation to speculate as to motive,’ police said in a statement.
Police in Georgia say pro-golfer Gene Siller (left and right) was not targeted, but was killed for witnessing a crime in progress on Saturday
Siller leaves behind his wife and two young children (pictured together)
Siller had only briefly dropped by the course on Saturday to remind staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks for July 4. He was director of golf at the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw (above)
Pinetree reopened the golf course on Wednesday and Siller’s widow Ashley laid flowers at the 10th hole where her husband was murdered, according to 11Alive.
The hole will remain closed for play for now, according to the club.
Siller had only briefly dropped by the course on Saturday to remind staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks for July 4, instructor Corey Evans told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Evans said the club had been ‘thriving’ under Siller’s leadership.
‘It’s the most members the club has ever had.’
The Georgia State Golf Association paid tribute to Siller, saying: ‘All of us at the GSGA are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred earlier today at Pinetree CC. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene Siller’s family and friends.’
The Georgia PGA also issued a statement offering its condolences on Twitter: ‘Tragedy has stricken the Georgia Section PGA in the loss of our Member, Gene Siller. Thoughts and prayers for his family and the Pinetree Country Club family.’
Siller leaves behind his wife and theirtwo young sons aged 6 and 7.
A GoFundMe set up to help support his family had already raised more than $620,000 by Thursday.
His funeral has been arranged for next Monday.