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Republican New Jersey Councilman Murdered A Week After Black GOP Councilwoman Was Fatally Shot

Franklin Township, NJ – A Republican Milford city councilman was fatally shot outside his car on Wednesday morning, exactly one week after a borough councilwoman from Sayreville was murdered in her SUV.

The incident occurred at about 7 a.m. on Feb. 8 in the parking lot in front of the PSE&G facility located on Weston Canal Road in Franklin Township, WABC reported.

Officers who responded to the scene found 51-year-old Milford City Councilman Russell Heller, a senior distribution supervisor at PSE&G, suffering from a fatal gunshot wound in the parking lot outside his work.

Authorities have identified Heller’s killer as 58-year-old Gary Curtis, a disgruntled former PSE&G employee, FOX News reported.

Police said Curtis approached Heller after he got out of his car in the parking lot and shot him outside of his vehicle, WABC reported.

Curtis allegedly fled the scene in a vehicle that was later found in Bridgewater Township, FOX News reported.

Officers found Curtis inside the suspect vehicle suffering from a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound.

Investigators have not yet determined a motive for Heller’s murder, FOX News reported.

However, police said they believed Heller was the intended target.

Heller was elected to the Milford City Council in Hunterdon County in 2017 and re-elected in 2020, FOX News reported.

“He was so full of life, it’s just unbelievable that he’s gone, something like this has never happened in borough history, we are very shaken by this,” Milford Mayor Henri Schepens said.

Police said they have not yet found any connection between the murder of the Milford city councilman and the black Republican Sayreville borough councilwoman who was shot to death in her SUV exactly one week earlier.

Sayreville police said neighbors reported hearing multiple gunshots in the Camelot at La Mer apartment complex on Samuel Circle just before 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, WABC reported.

Authorities said 30-year-old Sayreville Borough Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was found fatally shot inside her white Nissan SUV.

Investigators believe that Dwumfour’s vehicle traveled about 100 feet after she was shot before it slammed into two parked cars and stopped, WABC reported.

Witnesses said that a man fled the scene on foot and jumped over a fence before fleeing in the direction of the Garden State Parkway.

Acting on that tip, officers searched the woods behind the apartment complex for the murder weapon with police dogs.

Police are trying to find a motive for the murder of the 30-year-old immigrant from Nigeria who was elected to the Sayreville Borough Council in 2022, WABC reported.

The black GOP candidate wowed voters and beat an incumbent Democrat to win her three -year-term on the council.

Dwumfour also served as a member of the Sayreville Human Rights Council, according to WABC.

She worked as a business analyst and was a part-time emergency medical technician (EMT).

Investigators said Dwumfour had recently married a pastor who lives in Nigeria and were asking questions about the councilwoman’s ties to that church, WABC reported.

“She was happy with her new husband. It seems. Happy with her daughter, and she was living the life, the American dream. She was a beautiful motivated person, who did very well in the community,” Karen Bailey Bebert, who was Dwumfour’s campaign manager last year, said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting the Sayreville Police Department and the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation of the councilwoman’s murder, WABC reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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