Russell Sneiderman, a father of two, was gunned down outside his son’s preschool last week in broad daylight in what police are calling a “cold and calculated” slaying.
Sneiderman, of Dunwoody, Ga., had just dropped off his 2-year-old son, Ian, at day care Thursday when a man came from behind the 36-year-old father and shot him four times at point-blank range, then fled in a silver minivan with no license plates, authorities said. Sneiderman died at the scene.
Those who knew him say the way he died is inexplicable, given the way he lived. His family called Sneiderman, who grew up in Cleveland, it’s “brightest light,” a family man who loved his wife, Andrea, and their young children, Ian and Sophia. They said they had trouble imagining who would want him dead.
“My niece and nephew will never know their father. My sister-in-law had an entire lifetime of dreams ripped from her,” Sneiderman’s brother, Steve, told reporters Monday. A clip of the news conference was shown this morning on NBC’s “Today Show.” He said the slaying was senseless. “Our whole family has lost its brightest light, and we don’t know why.”
Police, too, are searching for a motive. They said the shooting was not a random act of violence, but appeared to be a professional hit. “From our initial investigation, this case seems to be a cold and calculated murder,” Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan told reporters. “There’s nothing showing right now that it’s random.” Police told WSBTV2 in Georgia that they had a video tape of the day care center’s parking lot they hope will help lead them to Sneiderman’s killer.
Friends described Sneiderman, an entrepreneur and certified accountant, as kind and generous. He gave his friends financial advice and sat on the boards of multiple Atlanta-area charities. Rick Tuley, a friend of Sneiderman’s in Atlanta, said Sneiderman helped him manage his family’s finances after his father’s death. “He reached out to me at a time of need, unsolicited and completely selfless,” Tuley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It wasn’t just one time, it was a lot of times.”
Sneiderman was the CEO of a Georgia-based day care network called Discovery Point. The Journal-Constitution reports that he had also worked as a consultant for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Atlanta.
On a memorial page at the Georgia funeral home that buried him, friends of Sneiderman and his family tried to make sense of the tragedy. “Rusty was thoughtful and talented,” Daniel Pompilio wrote. “There is no sense to what has happened. We are all shocked.”
Witnesses described the shooter as a white male, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, who may have a beard.