Explosion at home of woman accused of killing paramedic

Arson is suspected in the blast at the home owned by Karen Hill, who claimed self-defense in the shooting of Paramedic Rodney Gilmer

By Laura French

ELBERTON, Ga. — A home in Georgia that officials say belongs to a woman accused of killing a South Carolina paramedic was destroyed in an explosion on Thursday.

Elbert County Sheriff Melvin Andrews said an initial investigation found that arson was involved in the blast, according to WYFF 4. Authorities said the cause of the explosion was an air-fuel mixture.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said the residence is owned by Karen Hill, who is accused of killing Paramedic Rodney Gilmer in a shooting in February 2019, according to Count On 2 News. Authorities said Hill does not reside there and that her daughter lives there part-time, but that no one was inside at the time of the blast.

Hill claimed self-defense in the shooting death of Gilmer in South Carolina, which officials said occurred during a domestic dispute. Hill has not been charged in the case, which is still under investigation by SLED.

Aerial news footage of the property showed “Justice for Rodney” written in spray paint on a shed after the explosion, although it is unclear when the shed was spray-painted.

The Georgia state fire marshal and Bureau of Investigation bomb technician also responded to the scene.

Authorities are offering a $10,000 award for information that leads to the arrest of the person who caused the explosion. 


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