Another New Jersey Republican City Council Member Killed in Apparent Murder-Suicide

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A second New Jersey Republican and city councilman has been murdered since last week. Russell Heller, 51, was found in his car dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

This murder comes one week after Sayreville Borough Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was also gunned down in her vehicle.

According to the local authorities, police responded to an emergency call claiming that someone had been shot at on the grounds of the PSE&G facility in Franklin Township early Wednesday morning.

Heller was a senior distribution supervisor at PSE&G for more than a decade, and was currently service as a councilman in Milford, a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Milford Mayor Henri Schepens issued a statement after news broke about Heller’s murder, saying “The Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family. 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.”

According to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s office, the suspect in Heller’s murder was Gary Curtis, a former PSE&G employee who was also found in the town of Bridgewater hours after the murder in his vehicle, having died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities have not identified a clear motive at this time.

Republican councilman Russell Heller has been shot dead in his car in New Jersey. This comes exactly one week after Republican councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was shot dead in her car miles away.

— Kambree (@KamVTV) February 9, 2023

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Coincidence or Connection?

Heller’s murder comes within a week since the shooting death of Sayreville Borough Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, who was murdered near her home on February 1st.

According to a report by Fox News Digital, neighbors of Dwumfour heard “between six and nine gunshots” before hearing the sound of Dwumfour’s vehicle “slamming into a row of parked cars.”

Footage from that night obtained by News 12 New Jersey shows someone running away from scene almost immediately after the time of the murder.

When asked for further updates by Fox News Digital, the county’s public information officer stated that “We currently have no updates and no comment at this time.”

Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick in a statement issued after the announcement of Dwumbour’s death said she was a “dedicated member of our Borough Council who was truly committed to serve all of our residents.” 

She described the murder as a “despicable act.”

According to NBC News, authorities from either jurisdictions have not made any connections between the deaths of the two Republicans. In regards to the death of Russell Heller, Milford prosecutors have stated that his murder appears to be an “isolated incident.”

Two REPUBLICAN councilman in New Jersey have been killed in the last week and I haven’t heard a peep about it from Democrats or the msm. pic.twitter.com/MEvXQ2kYdN

— CTM (@no_quarter_1776) February 9, 2023

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