Shooting suspect had ‘disturbing’ interest in Hilton Head woman, police say. He was found dead

Police on scene where woman was shot on Hilton Head

A woman was flown to Savannah, Ga for treatment after being shot on Hilton Head Island.
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A woman was flown to Savannah, Ga for treatment after being shot on Hilton Head Island.

Police believe a person of interest “had developed a disturbing and unhealthy interest” in a Hilton Head woman before he shot her Thursday morning in a neighborhood on Hilton Head Island’s south end, according to Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage.

Police also believed the man killed himself at his apartment in the Brook Mills complex in Jasper County at about 11 a.m., a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

Deputies and Hilton Head Fire Rescue officials responded to the scene at the Point Comfort Club off Palmetto Bay Road at 10:20 a.m., where the woman was shot outside of her home.

The woman was transported by helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah for treatment, due to the severity of her injuries, the release said. Police have not released an update on the woman’s condition as of Thursday evening.

Jose Guzman-Rosario, 41, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Jasper County deputies found a cartridge casing there 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. Police were able to confirm his silver Mercedes Benz was on Hilton Head at the time of the shooting.

A search warrant was obtained, which revealed Guzman-Rosario’s phone had been used to send disturbing texts to the injured Hilton Head woman yesterday, the release said.

The woman recently complained that a man who matched Guzman-Rosario’s description had been harassing her, according to the news release. Investigators found multiple “disturbing” text messages on her phone from an unknown male.

The investigation into the shooting is active and witnesses are being interviewed, Bromage said Thursday evening.

The scene

Before deputies arrived on the scene on Point Comfort Road, the suspect had already fled, according to the news release.

Deputies put up crime scene tape near the entrance to the Point Comfort Club neighborhood before 11 a.m. Fire officials had left the scene by then.

Investigators were going door-to-door interviewing neighbors and witnesses around 11:30 a.m. At least five patrol vehicles were still parked on scene at that time.

The neighborhood is located just off of Palmetto Bay Road, a main artery and busy road on Hilton Head’s south end. Police lights could be seen from the road, and several drivers slowed their cars as they passed Point Comfort Road to peer at the scene.

There have been at least two other shootings with injuries in Beaufort County this month, according to previous Island Packet articles. Both incidents occurred in the northern part of the county.

On March 7, a man was shot in the shin in the Beaufort area after two suspects attempted to rob him at gunpoint outside a home on the corner of Robert Smalls Parkway and Broad River Boulevard.

On Monday, March 18, less than two weeks later, a man was sitting in a truck outside a friend’s house on Olde Church Road on St. Helena Island when he was shot in the right shoulder.

Mandy Matney is an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed shark enthusiast from Kansas. She worked for newspapers in Missouri and Illinois before she realized Midwestern winters are horrible, then moved to Hilton Head in 2016. She is the breaking news editor at the Island Packet.