TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Nearly five months after a double homicide near Lake Travis left Richard “Dale” Guthrie and his girlfriend Susan Gulla-O’Leary dead, loved ones are organizing a memorial event to remember the victims and honor the lives they lived.
Guthrie and Gulla-O’Leary were both 60 years old and each left behind children.
The shooting happened on the evening of March 15 on Whitebead Trail, not far from the intersection of Ranch Road 620 and Hudson Bend Road. Deputies with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office found the two in the front yard, dead from gunshot wounds to the head. Another woman was also injured, but survived.
“If it was a car wreck or a heart attack, we could understand it. But, being a very senseless situation, and horrific the way it happened — they were ambushed,” said Jeff Parnell, the brother-in-law of Dale Guthrie and one of the organizers behind the Dale Guthrie Memorial Golf Tournament. “I don’t know how anybody comes to grips with that. I know it was very difficult for all of us and our family.”
Parnell says he knew he had to do something to make sure something positive came out of this community’s tragedy.
“We were all in shock and we just didn’t know what to do or the direction to go, until we decided we had to come together,” he added.
Since Guthrie was an amateur golfer who never lost passion for the game, Parnell says it made sense to begin a memorial golf tournament and scholarship fund in his name.
Proceeds will go to the scholarship fund in Guthrie’s memory. Senior golfers at Lake Travis High School who have not already received scholarship money to go to college will be eligible to receive the scholarship.
Awards and prizes will follow after the tournament, along with a BBQ dinner and live music. At the end of the night, there will be a balloon release in memory of Dale Guthrie and anyone who has ever lost a loved one is invited to participate.
The suspect in the fatal shooting was identified as Randall Lee Burrows, 54, of Lakeway. Deputies say Burrows left the scene in a 2011 white Ford Escape. Two days after the couple was killed, Burrows died after leading police on a chase in Pike County, Mississippi. Law enforcement says Burrows shot himself in a field just outside of the town of Summit.
Burrows, a contractor, was in a business dispute with the victims, investigators told KXAN in March. “This dispute was over the job done or not done to the satisfaction — and the amount of money that was paid or not paid in reference to the work,” Captain Craig Smith said.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is entering the final stages of their investigation into the homicides. Officials say they will be closing the case soon.
For more information about the memorial tournament, click here.