Suspect arrested in Georgia country club shooting that left 3 dead, including golf pro who witnessed the crime

A suspect in a shooting that left three dead at a Georgia country club, including the club’s golf pro, has been arrested, police said Thursday. 

Bryan Rhoden, 23,  was arrested Thursday in Chamblee, 25 miles southeast of where the bodies of three people were found at the Pinetree Country Club on Saturday, Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said at a news conference Thursday.

Cox said Rhoden had ties to the Atlanta area and was the “lone shooter.” He did not comment on a motive.  

Rhoden was charged with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping, Cox said.

Last Saturday, police arrived at the club at 2:30 p.m. and found Eugene “Gene” Siller, the director of golf for the club, dead with a gunshot to his head. Police then found two other victims — Paul Pierson, 76, of Kansas, and Henry Valdez, 46, of California — in the bed of a Dodge Ram registered to Pierson. 

Police said Siller was not a target in the shooting “but rather was killed because he witnessed an active crime taking place,” according to a statement sent to USA TODAY by department spokesman Wayne Delk.

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According to reports, Siller was checking on an unauthorized truck on the course when he was killed near the 10th hole. The shooter left the course and a search ensued before police obtained warrants for Rhoden.

“We literally had detectives that have worked around the clock and some have literally slept in their offices since July 3rd trying to clear this case,” Cox said.

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Rhoden was arrested the day after the shooting in an unrelated case and was charged with DUI, among other charges, according to online jail records. He was released on bond Tuesday and arrested again Thursday on the murder charges from the golf course shooting. 

Rhoden had previously been arrested on charges of assault, attempted murder and possession of a firearm on campus in an incident when he was a student at Georgia State University, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

A GoFundMe page created for Siller’s family has raised more than $660,000 as of Friday morning and support has poured in from the Georgia PGA and friends.

“You’re at the club to escape everything else and Gene was there to help you enjoy your day,” Brian Katrek told the Journal-Constitution. “Gene was entertaining more people every day than he ever had.”

Contributing: Ryan Miller, USA TODAY. Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

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