Bryan Rhoden is an Atlanta rapper named B-Rod who is the suspect accused in the deaths of three men, including Gene Siller, a respected golf pro in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Siller was shot and killed on the golf course at Pinetree Country Club. The suspect’s full name is Bryan Anthony Rhoden.
Cobb police Chief Tim Cox announced the arrest in a news conference on July 8, 2021, and said, “We’d like to thank our citizens.” He said that tips helped the investigation. “His name came up within a few days of the investigation,” he said of Bryan Anthony Rhoden, 23, who was described as the “lone shooter.”
Siller, 41, was shot on the 10th hole of the golf course on Saturday, July 3, 2021. The motive isn’t clear.
Two other men were found shot to death “in the bed of a Ram 3500 pick-up truck located at the country club’s golf course,” reported 11Alive. One was identified as the truck’s owner, Paul Pierson, the television station reported. It’s not yet clear how any of it connects. The two deceased men were Henry Valdez, 46, of Anaheim, California, and Pierson, 76, of Topeka, Kansas, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Rhoden is accused of three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping, authorities said.
The motive is not clear.
The Georgia State Golf Association tweeted, “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.”
Eugene Siller was described as a man who built community, who showed compassion, and who “loved everybody,” a friend told journalist Tori Cooper:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect, Who Drove a White Pickup Truck Onto the Golf Course, Was Arrested in Chamblee, Georgia
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Department announced Rhoden’s arrest on its Facebook page, saying, “At around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 8, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit and the U.S. Marshal’s Southeastern Regional Task Force, along with the Chamblee Police Department apprehended Bryan Rhoden in Chamblee, GA. He is a suspect in the golf course killings.”
“I’m not going to release any information relating to that,” the police chief said about the motive. However, according to AJC.com, authorities said previously they believe that Siller went to investigate a crime in progress when Rhoden drove on the golf course, as opposed to being targeted.
He said he felt confident there was no connection between Siller and Rhoden.
It’s not clear how Rhoden and the other two men became acquainted; according to AJC, Pierson hailed from the wine country of California and was the director, president, treasurer and secretary of Eco Environmental Remediation Services, Inc., in Nevada.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reported that Siller was murdered “when he investigated a situation on Pinetree’s 10th hole.”
The gunman drove his truck into a sand trap and shot and killed Siller when he approached the vehicle, according to a Facebook post from a country club member, who claimed Siller was shot “five times at point blank range,” the Gwinnett Daily Post reported. That hasn’t been confirmed by authorities. He was shot in the head, according to 11Alive.
A witness told 11Alive that he heard five gunshots, saying, “Then nothing went on, and immediately members reacting like ‘I think there might be gunshots’ and then apparently somebody was down on the ground. Then it was kind of like a frenzy, everyone was trying to figure out what was going on.” The television station reported that the suspect was driving a white pickup truck.
Then, the two additional bodies were discovered.
The shootings occurred near Kennesaw State University’s campus.
KSU Emergency Management tweeted, “Kennesaw Campus: Shooting Incident reported near KSU. Suspect is a Hispanic Male considered armed and dangerous. Suspect is 6’1″ and 170 lbs and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt. Suspect was Last seen in area on Pine Tree Country Club headed towards Frey Lake Rd.”
They added, “UPDATE: Suspect was seen approximately 35 mins ago on Club Drive headed towards Shiloh Road. Suspect has long hair, a white/tan shirt and dark-colored work pants.” They continued, “Suspect is a 6’1”, 170 lb Hispanic male with a darker complexion. Last seen wearing a White T-Shirt, work pants, and possibly a hat.” That description did not prove to be fully accurate.
2. Rhoden Was Arrested & Released a Few Hours After the Murders
A few hours after Siller’s murder, Chamblee police arrested Rhoden on DUI, driving a vehicle without insurance, and false identification, WSBT-TV reported.
But he was released on bail on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
The Georgia PGA wrote in a news release, “As many of you already know, tragedy has stricken the Georgia Golf Family with the passing of PGA member, Gene Siller. Gene was serving as the Director of Golf at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, GA.”
They also wrote, “Following the lead of Pinetree Country Club members, the Georgia PGA, Georgia State Golf Association, Club Management Association of America Georgia Chapter, Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association and PGA of America would like to encourage all our members to lend their support to Gene’s family during this devastating time.”
They added that they would share further details later “in regards to ongoing collaborative efforts and services in Gene’s honor.”
3. The Suspect Is a Rapper
According to WSB-TV, Rhoden “is an up-and-coming rapper who goes by the name B Rod.” He had more than 18,000 followers on Instagram. His musical release was called Made It Out.
A week before his arrest was announced, he wrote, “I’M WORKIN, I’M GRINDIN, I’M SHININ & ONLY GETTING BETTER! 🙏🏾 Quick recap of this past week’s club run for Made It Out! Preciate EVERYBODY who came out to kick it! It means wayyyy more than you think to me! ❤️🙌🏾 If you haven’t hit that link in my bio yet you need to HANDLE DAT! 🎧🔥💯 VISUALS OTW 🎥🎬”
He wrote on Instagram, “I always used to ask myself, why not me?? Why not us?? Now I leave those thoughts up to somebody else! #MÍO.”
A GoFundMe page to help the Siller family has raised more than $308,000.
“Hello and thank you for visiting the fundraiser page for our Director of Golf and dear friend, Gene Siller,” the campaign page reads. “As many of you are aware Gene was tragically killed Saturday, July 3rd. We are asking for donations to help Gene’s precious family in this terrible time of need. Please keep Gene’s family as well as his Pintree family in your prayers.”
A friend wrote on the page, “Gene was loved by all of us at St. Ives as well as everyone who came in contact with him. I knew him when he was at St. Ives as an assistant and I was so happy for him to advance his career to Director of Golf at PCC. What happened to him is unimaginable and I was devastated to hear the awful news. My deepest condolences and we will have Gene’s family in our prayers.”
Another added, “I am a PGA Professional and I know the hard work and sacrifice this man made.”
4. Rhoden Was Previously Accused of a High Speed Chase & Shooting on a College Campus
Rhoden has had serious entanglements with the criminal justice system before.
According to Pharos Tribune, he was previously accused in 2020 of leading police on a high-speed chase in White and Tippecanoe counties.
He faced a felony for resisting law enforcement as well as misdemeanor charges. He was accused of traveling over 100 miles per hour in a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
In 2017, according to AJC.com, Rhoden was accused of meeting visitors in a parking lot outside a residence hall while a GSU student to sell drugs. An argument ensued and both Rhoden and another man were shot, the newspaper reported. Rhoden and the other man were accused of assault, attempted murder and possession of a firearm on campus, the newspaper reported.
According to Gwinnett Daily Post, Siller was previously a golf pro in Gwinnett County, where he was director of golf and head golf pro at Summit Chase Country Club. He also previously worked at St. Ives Country Club.
He moved on to Pinetree in 2019, the newspaper reported.
In addition, the Post added, he was “a regular competitor in Georgia PGA Section golf tournaments since 2007.”
5. Siller, Who Was Married With Children, Was Described as a ‘Super Nice Guy’
Siller was married and leaves behind two children, according to Gwinnett Daily Post.
He attended Purdue University, the newspaper reported.
“He was a super nice guy with two young kids and a beautiful wife,” Summit Chase member Marc Cain said to the newspaper. “I got to spend a good deal of time with him on the course and on a golf trip. Our hearts are ripped out with the sad news.”