Just one week after the assassination of New Jersey Republican councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, tragedy struck the city again as one of its high-profile political figures was shot and killed in similar circumstances.
According to the Daily Caller, New Jersey Republican council member Russel Heller, 51, was found dead in his car at the parking lot of his employer, local energy company PSE&G, on Wednesday at about 7 a.m.
Following investigations conducted at the scenes, authorities at Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, alongside detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, identified Gary T. Curtis, 58, as the suspected shooter.
Authorities revealed that detectives tracked Curtis down to a parking lot area in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, where he was found in a car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The suspect, who was found with a firearm, was later pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said they are still working to discover the motive behind the shooting. They, however, revealed that Curtis was a former employee at PSE&G.
Russel’s shooting comes exactly one week after Dwumfour was found shot dead under similar circumstances. The 30-year-old Republican New Jersey Councilwoman was found shot dead in her crashed SUV outside her apartment complex in Sayreville. Police found Dwumfour in her care with multiple gunshot wounds.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 2, 2023
Investigators do not have any motives or suspects behind the shooting but revealed that they believed the perpetrators targeted Dwumfour.
Juan and Nelia Rodriguez, who, alongside Dwumfour, serve on the Sayreville Human Relations Commission, described the councilwoman as an amazing friend and a woman who loved God.
“We were just at our HRC meeting January 5th 2023 and I just saw her this morning at the store. I remember saying to her I see you at the HRC meeting tomorrow not knowing tonight was going to be the end of her life. I can’t stop crying. She was 30 years young and full of life. You will be missed my dear, precious friend,” the couple wrote in a Facebook post.
Dwumfour, who was elected to the Sayreville council in 2021, was a part-time EMT and business analyst, according to the New York Post.