A 44-year-old Hilton Head woman has died after she was shot outside her home Thursday morning by a man who allegedly harassed her.
Karma Young was pronounced dead Friday afternoon at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott.
The accused shooter, 41-year-old Jose Guzman-Rosario, 41, is believed to have killed himself at his apartment in the Brook Mills complex in Jasper County soon after the shooting, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Young was shot around 10 a.m. outside of her home in Point Comfort Club off Palmetto Bay Road, according to the release. Deputies and Hilton Head Fire rescue officials responded to the scene around 10:20 a.m.
Young was flown by helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah for treatment, due to the severity of her injuries, the release said.
Around an hour after the shooting, Jasper County officials found Guzman-Rosario dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
When police investigated the scene, they found several pieces of evidence that linked Guzman-Rosario to the crime, the news release said. They found a cartridge casing of the same caliber and manufacture as one found near the Hilton Head woman.
Guzman-Rosario was wearing clothing and owned a vehicle similar to those given as a description of the suspect in the Hilton Head shooting.
Witnesses told deputies the man who shot Young left the scene in a silver Mercedes Benz. That car was later found outside of Guzman-Rosario’s apartment, police said.
After deputies obtained a search warrant for Guzman-Rosario’s phone, they found multiple “disturbing” text messages that he had sent to Young, the news release said.
Maj. Bob Bromage, of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, said it appeared Guzman-Rosario “had developed a disturbing and unhealthy interest” in Young.
Bromage said Young was acquainted with Guzman-Rosario through work.
The investigation into the shooting is active, Bromage said.
Young had ‘a huge heart for animals’
Young — a mother of two — once worked in Bluffton at a pet grooming spa where her former manager remembers her as a “blonde hair, blue-eyed girl, (a) little bit on the shy side with a pretty smile,” and “a huge heart for animals.”
“She deserves to be remembered for the sweet person she was,” her manager, Lisa Marie, told The Island Packet.