Police Say Gene Siller Was Gunned Down After He Witnessed a Crime

Four days after a shooting on a golf course near Atlanta turned into a triple homicide, the gunman was still at large, and a motive still eluded the police.


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A golf pro who was gunned down on Saturday at a suburban Atlanta country club by a man who had driven a pickup truck onto the golf course was not the gunman’s target but was killed because he had “witnessed an active crime taking place,” the police said on Tuesday.

The gunman, who the authorities said had not been identified, fled after the shooting at the Pinetree Country Club near Kennesaw, Ga., leaving behind a pickup truck that held in its bed the bodies of two other men who had been fatally shot. The gunman was still at large on Wednesday, four days after the shooting.

The Cobb County Police Department said that investigators were still trying to determine a motive in what they were treating as a triple homicide but that there was no “active threat to the public at large and there was not a directed threat to residents of the neighborhood.”

The golf pro was identified as Gene Siller, 46, a father of two young sons who was the director of golf at the country club. A GoFundMe page that was started on behalf of Mr. Siller’s family had raised more than $580,000 on Wednesday.

One of the men found in the truck was identified by the police as Paul Pierson, 76, who was the registered owner of the truck that the gunman had driven onto the golf course. The authorities identified the third victim as Henry Valdez, 46, of California on Wednesday.

At about 2 p.m. on Saturday, the authorities said, Mr. Siller was walking toward the 10th hole at Pinetree when he saw a white Ram 3500 pickup truck on the course. The gunman shot Mr. Siller in the head and fled, the authorities said.

When investigators arrived, they also found Mr. Pierson and Mr. Valdez in the bed of the truck, dead from gunshot wounds, the authorities said. Both men found in the truck had “no relation to the location at all,” the police said.

“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,” the Cobb County police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not been asked to assist, Nelly Miles, a spokeswoman for the agency, said on Wednesday.

Derek Easterling, the mayor of Kennesaw, said that while the shooting had taken place just outside his city’s limits, the community was still “grieving for all of the victims.” Mr. Easterling described the neighborhood near the country club as quiet. The golf course is surrounded by rambling suburban homes on wooded lots.

“It’s just tragic,” he said.

Corey Evans, an instructor at the country club, told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that Mr. Siller had dropped by the club on Saturday to remind his staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks that weekend. Mr. Evans said the club had been thriving under Mr. Siller’s leadership.

Brian Katrek, a golf analyst for TV outlets and a member of the Pinetree Country Club, told CNN that Mr. Siller “would do anything he could do to make your day better.”

One donor on the GoFundMe page wrote of Mr. Siller: “He always carried himself with class, and was a gem of a guy. It’s no surprise that he built a great career and family.”

Johnny Diaz contributed reporting.

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