Gene Siller was a golf pro from Kennesaw, Georgia, who was shot and killed on the golf course at Pinetree Country Club.
Siller, 41, was shot on the 10th hole of the golf course on Saturday, July 3, 2021. Authorities now believe that Siller was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ran across a crime in progress; the suspect was named as Bryan Anthony Rhodes, and up-and-coming Atlanta rapper. He is in custody.
Then, in a bizarre twist compounding the murder mystery, 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 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 Drove a White Pickup Truck Onto the Golf Course
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.”
Heavy has reached out to Cobb County Police for additional details.
2. The Georgia PGA Wrote That ‘Tragedy Has Stricken the Georgia Golf Family’
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. There Is a Major Fundraising Effort to Help Siller’s Family
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. Siller Was Previously a Competitor in Georgia Golf Tournaments & Worked as a Golf Pro for Years
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.”