Former Bluffton teacher dead, local doctor hospitalized after Hilton Head shooting, police say
The Bluffton woman involved in a double-shooting Tuesday evening on Hilton Head Island died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Beaufort County deputy coroner David Ott said Wednesday afternoon.
Jennifer Rudemyer, 39, was found dead a short distance away from her former boyfriend, Dr. Gaston “Gus” Perez, outside of his Spanish Wells Plantation home around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Perez, 60, had been shot four to five times, according to family members.
He was listed in stable condition after surgery Wednesday morning at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The doctor’s son, Alex Perez of Hilton Head, said his father had suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, near his face and to his hand after apparently trying to block the path of the bullets, which missed both his brain and heart.
Perez’s daughter, Mel Perez of Charleston, posted on Facebook that her father was resting in the ICU.
The surgeon at Memorial Health told the family that Gaston Perez was “very lucky” to have survived the number of rounds that hit him, Alex Perez said.
“I just feel so, so, so lucky he survived,” Alex Perez said. “I know a lot of families don’t get breaks like this when tragedy falls.”
The shooting happened outside of the residence at 49 Widewater Road, according to Capt. Bob Bromage, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office. Bromage said a neighbor witnessed the shooting.
Perez and Rudemyer are believed to be the only parties involved in the shooting, according the Sheriff’s Office. No additional details from the investigation were available Wednesday afternoon.
Hours before the shooting, Perez had been granted a restraining order against Rudemyer, according to Beaufort County officials.
Beaufort County property tax records show that Perez bought the residence on Widewater Road in 2003.
Perez, a licensed family practice physician, is the owner of Global Family Medicine in Bluffton.
Alex Perez said Rudemyer and Gaston Perez dated “on and off” for at least six years.
Rudemyer’s forensic autopsy was expected to be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina on Wednesday, the release said.
According to her Facebook page, Rudemyer was the owner of Coastal Clutter Queen, a company that professionally organizes homes and businesses.
Rudemyer taught during 2003 and 2004 at Hilton Head Middle School and from 2008 to 2017 at H.E. McCracken Middle School in Bluffton, according to Jim Foster, spokesman for the Beaufort County School District.
A neighbor near the scene told an Island Packet reporter that it’s been a “tragic few weeks” in the normally quiet neighborhood of Spanish Wells. A 33-year-old died after her car struck a tree on Widewater Road on Aug. 21.
Reporter Teresa Moss contributed to this report.