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Hilton Head doctor was shot 4-5 times, family says. Ex-girlfriend killed herself, coroner says

Former Bluffton teacher dead, local doctor hospitalized after Hilton Head shooting, police say

A Bluffton woman is dead and a local doctor is injured after a shooting in Spanish Wells Plantation on Hilton Head, police say. The shooting happened around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday outside of a residence on Widewater Road, according to police.
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A Bluffton woman is dead and a local doctor is injured after a shooting in Spanish Wells Plantation on Hilton Head, police say. The shooting happened around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday outside of a residence on Widewater Road, according to police.

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.”

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The tranquil home in Spanish Wells on Hilton Head Island where a double-shooting Tuesday night left a 39-year-old Bluffton woman dead and a doctor hospitalized. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com


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.

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Photo from Coastal Clutter Queen’s Facebook page

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.

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The entrance to Spanish Wells as seen on Wed., Sept. 5, 2015, a community on Hilton Head Island where was the scene of a double shooting the night before. According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s office, Dr. Gaston Perez was shot several times and was flown to Savannah, Ga. for medical care. Jennifer Rudemyer, 39, of Bluffton died at the scene. Police found a handgun at the scene that they believe was used in the Tuesday evening shooting. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com

Reporter Teresa Moss contributed to this report.

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