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Man charged with killing Gene Siller and 2 others had no apparent relationship with the golf pro, police say


Bryan Anthony Rhoden was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the killings of Siller and two other men, all of whom were found dead July 3 at the Atlanta area’s Pinetree Country Club, Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said Thursday.

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

Investigators believe Rhoden, arrested in the Atlanta-area city of Chamblee, was the lone shooter in the killings of Siller, Paul Pierson, and Henry Valdez, Cox said.

Police are trying to determine why the shootings happened and whether relationships existed between Rhoden and the victims, Cox said.

But investigators feel confident Rhoden, “who has ties to the metro Atlanta area,” had no relationship with the 46-year-old Siller, Cox said.

Police also have said investigators believe that Siller, shot dead on the country club’s golf course, was killed only because he had witnessed a crime in progress involving the shooter and the other two men.

Police have not said precisely what that crime was, but they have said the bodies of Pierson and Valdez were found in the bed of a truck on a golf-course green near where Siller was shot.

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

What police say unfolded

Police previously said they were called to a report of a person shot on Saturday afternoon and found Siller — who was the club’s director of golf — shot in the head near the green of the course’s 10th hole.

Golf pro Gene Siller killed and 2 others found dead at Georgia golf course

A truck was on the green, and officers found the bodies of the two other men in the truck’s bed — both of whom also had been shot, police said. One of the slain men was Pierson, 76, of Kansas — the registered owner of the Ram 3500, police said.

Police identified the third victim as Valdez, 46, of California, and said he and Pierson appeared “to have no relation to the location at all.”

Someone had driven to the green in the truck and shot Siller when Siller arrived to see what was going on, a member of the club told CNN affiliate WXIA. The shooter then fled, WXIA reported.

Funeral services will be held Monday

Funeral services for Siller will take place on Monday, according to an email from his golf club, which announced it will also hold a celebration of life Monday evening.

Slain Georgia golf pro Gene Siller was someone who could make a bad day brighter, friends say

The Georgia State Golf Association expressed its condolences for Siller’s death. “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 association tweeted on July 3.

Siller, 46, leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 6 and 7, according to the Pinetree Country Club.

He was “a man of compassion” who “loved everybody,” Rand Eberhard, a pastor who lives in a neighborhood near the country club and knew Siller, said earlier this week.

“It’s a big void that is left in our community to lose such an important guy,” Eberhard added.

CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Christina Maxouris, Jason Hanna, Devon M. Sayers, Jennifer Bernstein and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.

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