A New Jersey Republican council member, Russell Heller, was slain inside his car exactly one week after the heartbreaking murder of another Republican council member, Eunice Dwumfour. Police report that Heller, 51, was shot and killed by Gary Curtis, 58, who then drove an hour away and was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Although police have found the suspect in Heller’s murder, no motive has been found in either of the killings as two New Jersey communities struggle with a devastating back-to-back killing.
By Pilar Arias; Febuary 9, 2023
Local New Jersey council member Russell Heller was shot dead in his car exactly one week after the slaying of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, according to reports.
Authorities responded to calls that a person had been shot at the PSE&G facility in Franklin Township just after 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Heller, 51, was found shot dead outside his car, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Reports say he was a senior distribution supervisor who had been with the company for 11 years and a councilman in Milford, a small borough in Hunterdon County.
“The Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss, and our hearts go out to his family,” Milford Mayor Henri Schepens told digital news content provider NJ.com. “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.”
Gary Curtis, 58, was identified as the suspect in the shooting and found at 10:20 a.m. inside a car in Bridgewater, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Curtis was reportedly a former PSE&G employee who allegedly shot Heller before taking off and driving to Bridgewater, where he killed himself.
The killing comes one week after the slaying of Dwumfour, who was found dead in her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
No clear motive or suspect has been identified by police in Dwumfour’s death.
Police are still searching for a motive for Heller’s killing. The utility company has not given any indication about what, if any, working relationship he and Curtis had, according to PIX 11.
Investigators believe the shooting was an isolated incident, and Heller was the intended target.
“Both slain council members were elected Republicans. Heller was last elected in 2020, Dwumfour to her first term in 2021,” according to NJ.com.
Photo: Twitter / New York Post