Man Arrested in Killing of Georgia Golf Pro and Two Others
The killings, discovered at Pinetree Country Club near Kennesaw, Ga., stunned the community.,
The authorities in Georgia said on Thursday that they had arrested a man who had fatally shot three men — a golf pro and two men whose bodies were found in the back of a pickup truck at a suburban Atlanta country club on Saturday.
The suspect, Bryan Anthony Rhoden, was arrested at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Chamblee, Ga., according to the authorities. He was charged with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping, Chief Tim Cox of the Cobb County Police Department said.
Chief Cox said that Mr. Rhoden had fatally shot the golf pro, Gene Siller, 46, a father of two young sons who was the director of golf at Pinetree Country Club near Kennesaw, Ga., as well as Henry Valdez, 46, of California, and Paul Pierson, 76.
At about 2 p.m. on Saturday, the authorities said, Mr. Siller was walking toward the 10th hole at Pinetree when he saw a white Ram 3500 pickup truck on the course. The gunman shot Mr. Siller in the head and fled, leaving the truck on the course, the authorities said.
When investigators arrived, they found the bodies of Mr. Pierson and Mr. Valdez in the bed of the truck. Both had been fatally shot, the authorities said, noting that the two men had “no relation to the location at all.” Mr. Pierson was the registered owner of the truck.
Chief Cox announced the arrest at a news conference on Thursday night during which he declined to describe the events that had led up the shooting or a possible motive, saying the investigation was continuing.
The authorities did not provide Mr. Rhoden’s age or hometown. Chief Cox said Mr. Rhoden had “ties to the metro Atlanta area.”
Chief Cox declined to say how Mr. Rhoden had become a suspect or whether he had a criminal record, but said his name had surfaced “within a few days” of the shooting. He described Mr. Rhoden as the “lone shooter.”
On Tuesday, the police said that Mr. Siller was not the gunman’s target but had been killed because he had “witnessed an active crime taking place.”
“We definitely feel confident there was no relationship between the shooter and Mr. Siller,” Chief Cox said at the news conference on Thursday.
A GoFundMe page that was started on behalf of Mr. Siller’s family had raised more than $656,000 by Thursday.
Earlier this week, Derek Easterling, the mayor of Kennesaw, said that while the shooting had taken place just outside his city’s limits, the community was still “grieving for all of the victims.” Mr. Easterling described the neighborhood near the country club as quiet. The golf course is surrounded by rambling suburban homes on wooded lots.
On Thursday night, Mr. Easterling said he was thankful that the police had made an arrest in the killings.
“It is a relief, but there’s still some questions to be answered and a few pieces to tie up,” he said. “There has to be a motive.”