Second NJ Councilman Shot Dead One Week After Dwumfour Slaying
A Republican New Jersey municipal council member was found shot dead in his car on Wednesday, exactly one week after Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour - also a Republican, was gunned down while driving her car.
51-year-old Russell Heller was found just after 7 a.m. in the parking lot of his workplace, PSE&G, located in Somerset. Former employee Gary Curtis, 58, was identified as a suspect - and was found dead in his own car from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound around 3.5 hours after the murder, the NY Post reports.
"The investigation remains ongoing to determine motive," said prosecutors, adding that "Heller was the intended target."
Gov. Phil Murphy sent “thoughts and prayers” to Heller’s “family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence.”
US Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ), whose district includes the area, said he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic murder” of his fellow Republican.
“Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved,” Kean tweeted. -NY Post
"Russell was a dedicated and valuable member of the Milford and Hunterdon County community whose leadership and commitment will be sorely missed," said Zachary Rich, the director of the county board of commissioners. "More importantly, however, Russell was a loving and caring father to his daughter and a dedicated and loyal friend to all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him."
The murder appears to be an "isolated incident" according to authorities, who have not linked it to the murder of Eunice Dwumfour.
Dwumfour, 30, was found dead in her white Nissan SUV last Wednesday, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. A witness told the NY Post that her car was hit with around 12 shots, and crashed near the Camelot at La Mer apartment complex in Sayreville.
"She was slumped over the wheel with a black hoodie with brown fur covering her head, her hands were down by her side. There was one bullet hole in the passenger door and a bunch of bullet holes in the driver door. Some other neighbors said they saw someone running away with a mask on," said the witness.