Slain Georgia golf pro Gene Siller treated everyone with respect, friend says

Gene Siller, the Georgia country club golf pro shot to death on the course where he worked, was well-liked and treated everyone with respect, a friend says.

The Saturday killing left the Pinetree Country Club community in shock, said Sebastian Schutte, who said he played a round with Siller the day before.

“It didn’t hit me until later that this happened at our country club,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”

Siller, 41, Pinetree’s director of golf, was found shot to death Saturday afternoon near the 10th green of the golf course north of Atlanta, Cobb County police said.

A club member told CNN affiliate WXIA that Siller went to see why somebody had driven a pickup truck onto the course and was shot by the suspect, who then fled. The bodies of two men were found in the truck bed, police announced Sunday. Both victims also suffered apparent gunshot wounds, according to police, and one of the men was the truck owner.

Police are searching for the suspect, who has not been identified.

Siller leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 6 and 7, according to the Pinetree Country Club.

“It’s very disturbing. It’s definitely disturbing,” witness John Lavender told CNN affiliate WSB.

“It’s mind-blowing. Growing up here, it’s nothing I would’ve imagined here happening in this city. I can’t understand how and why this actually happened,” Lavender said.

Golfing organizations sent notes of sympathy.

“Tragedy has stricken the Georgia Section PGA in the loss of our Member, Gene Siller. Thoughts and prayers for his family and the Pinetree Country Club family,” Georgia’s Professional Golfers’ Association tweeted.

PGA of America President Jim Richerson also issued a statement: “We are truly heartbroken to hear about the senseless murder that took place yesterday at Pine Tree Country Club in Georgia that took the life of PGA member Gene Siller,” the statement said. “PGA of America sends our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to his family, club and the Georgia PGA Community.”

Siller’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with finances.