The suspect who was arrested over the killings of a pro golfer and two others on a Georgia golf course had been taken into custody hours after the triple homicide on DUI and other charges before then being released.
Bryan Anthony Rhoden, 23, was charged late Thursday with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping following a five day manhunt over the July 3 shooting deaths at Pinetree Country Club in suburban Atlanta.
Rhoden allegedly shot 46-year-old Gene Siller, who was director of golf at the club, in the head near the 10th hole after police said the golf pro ‘witnessed an active crime‘ unfolding.
Police who arrived at the scene later discovered the bodies of two men – Paul Pierson, 76, of Kansas; and Henry Valdez, 46, of California – in the back of a white Ram 3500 pickup truck that Rhoden had allegedly driven onto the course.
The gunman fled the scene of the triple homicide on foot and police refused for days to release any details of a potential suspect.
Bryan Anthony Rhoden, 23, who was arrested over the July 3 shooting deaths at Pinetree Country Club near Atlanta, had been taken into custody hours after the triple homicide on DUI and other charges before being released. He is pictured above in his two mugshots
Following his arrest, online records now show Rhoden was picked up by police in nearby Chamblee, some 25 miles away from the course, in the hours after the shootings.
He was booked early Sunday on misdemeanor charges of DUI, a headlight violation, fake ID, driving without insurance, driving an unregistered vehicle and using a license plate to conceal the identity of a vehicle.
Rhoden was released on bond on Tuesday night.
He was then taken into custody again on Thursday night in the same area as his first arrest and charged over the murders.
Cobb Police Chief Tim Cox has acknowledged that Rhoden had previously been arrested but refused to provide details.
It is not yet clear if police knew he was the suspect in the homicides when he was picked up on the other charges hours after the shootings.
Cox said after his arrest that Rhoden was identified relatively early as the suspect.
The police chief described Rhoden as the ‘lone shooter’ but refused to give other details, including a motive.
It is still not clear why Rhoden allegedly drove onto the course and when the two men in the bed of the truck were killed.
Siller was director of golf at the club and a married father-of-two. He is survived by his wife Ashley and their two sons, aged 6 and 7
Siller, who was director of golf at the club and a married father-of-two, was not playing at the time but was walking towards the 10th hole after hearing that a white Ram 3500 pickup truck was being driven onto the course by the suspect
Pinetree reopened the golf course on Wednesday and Siller’s widow Ashley laid flowers at the 10th hole where her husband was murdered. The hole will remain closed for play for now, according to the club
Police had earlier said Siller, a married father-of-two, was shot dead after witnessing a crime taking place.
Authorities have not confirmed if the crime Siller witnessed was the killing of the two men found in the truck or another offense.
Other golfers on the scene recalled hearing five or six gunshots.
Just before he was killed, Siller had been walking towards the 10th hole after hearing that a truck was being driven onto the course by the suspect.
Police believe Siller was shot dead after approaching the truck, which had become stuck in a sand trap. His body was found on the green close to the vehicle when police arrived on the scene.
The bodies of the two other men – Pierson and Valdez – were then found dumped in the bed of the truck with gunshot wounds.
The truck being driven by the gunman was registered to Pierson.
Police in Georgia say pro-golfer Gene Siller (left and right) was not targeted, but was killed for witnessing a crime in progress on Saturday
Siller had only briefly dropped by the course on Saturday to remind staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks for July 4. He was director of golf at the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw (above)
Pierson and Valdez were from out-of-state and had no known links to the area or the country club, according to police.
It is not clear if Pierson and Valdez knew each other. Pierson is believed to have been in Atlanta for business, according to family friends. He is listed as the owner of Eco Environmental Remediation Services in Nevada.
Pinetree reopened the golf course on Wednesday and Siller’s widow Ashley laid flowers at the 10th hole where her husband was murdered, according to 11Alive.
The hole will remain closed for play for now, according to the club.
Siller had only briefly dropped by the course on Saturday to remind staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks for July 4, instructor Corey Evans told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Evans said the club had been ‘thriving’ under Siller’s leadership and had ‘the most members the club has ever had.’
Siller leaves behind his wife and their two young sons aged 6 and 7.
A GoFundMeset up to help support his family had already raised more than $656,000 by Thursday. His funeral has been arranged for next Monday.