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What we know about the Cobb County country club triple homicide

Police identified the third shooting victim on Wednesday morning. Here's the latest.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities have apprehended the "lone shooter" in a Cobb County country club triple homicide. Bryan Rhoden was arrested on Thursday and he is now facing three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of kidnapping.

Here’s what we know about the deadly incident so far.

Where did it happen

The fatal shooting happened at the Pinetree Country Club located at 3400 McCollum Parkway near Kennesaw State University’s campus around 2:27 p.m. on July 3.

According to the country club’s website, it has an 18-hole, 7,108 yard, par 72 championship golf course.

What we know about the shooting

RELATED: 1 dead after shooting at Pinetree Country Club, Cobb police say

Just before 3 p.m. Saturday, a tweet from Kennesaw State University Emergency Management stated there was reportedly a shooting incident near the university’s campus, and an “armed and dangerous” suspect was on the run.

Cobb County Police said when their officers responded to the scene, they found a man on the green of the 10th hole with a gunshot wound to his head.

One witness told police he heard five gunshots in a row.

"Then nothing went on, and immediately members reacting like, 'I think there might be gunshots,' and then apparently somebody was down on the ground," he said. "Then it was kind of like a frenzy, everyone was trying to figure out what was going on."

A member of the club said the alleged shooter drove his car to the 10th fairway of the country club’s golf course, one victim went to see what was going on and he was shot.

Another witness said the suspect drove a white pickup truck onto the golf course.

Who are the victims

The victims have been identified as Gene Siller, Paul Pierson and Henry Valdez.

The first victim identified in the Pinetree Country Club shooting was golf pro and country club director Siller.

A country club member said Siller was the victim who went to check on what was going on when the alleged shooter drove his car on the golf course. 

RELATED: Kennesaw golf pro identified as victim in shooting at Cobb County Country club, a member says

Police confirmed Siller as the victim on July 4. A fundraiser posted to GoFundMe by friends and community members in efforts to raise funds for Siller's family said he was "tragically killed" on Saturday. 

"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," organizer Dianne McPherson wrote on the fundraiser page.

According to the NBC affiliate WLWT,  the father of two was originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.

RELATED: GoFundMe started for Kennesaw golf pro who was shot and killed at country club

The Georgia State Golf Association said in a tweet Saturday evening that, "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."

According to additional details released by the Cobb County Police Department on Sunday, officers also located the bodies of two additional victims during the investigation.

The two men were found shot to death in the bed of a Ram 3500 pick-up truck located at the country club's golf course.

Another victim was identified as 76-year-old Pierson, who was the owner of the Ram 3500, according to police. 

According to a family friend, Pierson lives out of town and was in Atlanta on a business trip. His family is asking for privacy until more information is released publicly. 

Cobb Police released the identity of the third victim on Wednesday morning as 46-year-old Henry Valdez of California.

RELATED: 2 more bodies found after Cobb country club shooting, police say

 A Tuesday release from the police department said Pierson and Valdez appear to have no relation to the country club.

Detectives learned Siller was in no way targeted in the shooting and was killed because he witnessed an active crime taking place involving the two men found in the pickup truck and the suspect, according to police.

What we know about the suspect

On Thursday, July 8, the U.S. Marshals Office said the suspect has been identified as Bryan Rhoden. Cobb County Police also confirmed the arrest and said Rhoden was apprehended in Chamblee around 5:30 p.m.

RELATED: Man arrested, charged with murder in connection with Cobb country club triple homicide

"We literally had detectives that have worked around the clock and some have even slept in their offices since July 3 trying to clear this case," Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said during a press conference at the department's headquarters at 8 p.m. Thursday.

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

Several federal partners assisted with Rhoden's arrest including the U.S. Marshals taskforce, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service and Homeland Security. 

However, before Thursday's arrest, it appears Rhoden was taken into custody in DeKalb County early Sunday morning, for DUI, false ID, and other charges unrelated to the shooting. 

RELATED: Alleged 'lone shooter' in country club triple homicide was in jail this week on unrelated charges, later released

During the Thursday evening news conference, 11Alive asked the chief about the previous arrest that happened hours after the Cobb shooting.

"I have been told that he had a previous arrest," the chief said about Rhoden.

However, he didn't elaborate to say whether or not Rhoden's name might have been connected to the Cobb case at that time.

"At this point, I don't want to discuss what all we knew at that point. Like I said, the investigation is continuing and we're actually involved at this moment in discussions," he said.

Jail records show Rhoden was released on bond from the DeKalb County jail on July 6. He's set to make his first appearance in court for the charges related to the triple homicide on Friday, July 9 at 8 p.m., according to a Tweet from the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. 

Police were still looking to find the man allegedly responsible for the shooting death of three people at the Cobb County country club until Thursday night.

"I realize that some members of the community felt some frustration, they felt like they had limited information and I can respect that feeling. From the perspective that I'm at, I knew we had a mission to come to a successful conclusion of this and provide a form of justice to the Siller family," the chief said. "The successful arrest and prosecution was our highest priority and that's what we were focusing on."

In a Tweet on July 3, the Kennesaw State Office of Emergency Management said the suspect was a Hispanic man. They described him as being 6-foot-1 and weighing 170 pounds. Officials also said he has long hair and was wearing a white or tan shirt and dark-colored work pants.

KSU emergency management reported he was seen in the area of Pinetree Country Club heading towards Frey Lake Road earlier on Saturday, but the agency said the suspect was last seen near Club Drive headed toward Shiloh Road.

The Saturday tweet from KSU Emergency Management stated the suspect was "considered armed and dangerous.” A Tuesday news release from Cobb Police said there was no active threat to the community and it appears there was no direct threat to residents in the neighborhood when the shooting happened.

What we don't know

Right now, there is no indication of a motive behind the suspect's actions or further details about what led up to the shooting.

"Detectives, along with numerous other special units, continue to follow active leads in this case. We are aware that the public has many questions, the most pressing one being why this happened; however, it is too early in the investigation to speculate as to motive," Cobb Police said in a release. 


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