A Republican New Jersey municipal council member has been shot dead in his car just days after Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour (R) was gunned down in an unsolved slaying.
51-year-old Russell Heller, of the Milford Township in Hunterdon County, was killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Franklin Township in Somerset County.
Heller, a father, was found dead just after 7 am in the parking lot of PSE&G, the local energy company where the Milford Republican worked.
Heller had worked with PSE&G for the last 11 years as a supervisor.
The Somerset County prosecutor’s office released the following statement Thursday morning:
“Investigators with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office along with Franklin Township Police continue to investigate the circumstances which led to the homicide shooting of Mr. Russell Heller yesterday in Franklin Township (Somerset County), New Jersey.
“Investigators have confirmed that Mr. Heller was a Republican Councilman for Milford Borough (Hunterdon County).
“The investigation has revealed that the shooting of Mr. Heller was not politically connected with his elected office or political affiliation,” prosecutors said.
I am shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of Milford Councilman Russell Heller. Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved. My prayers are with his family and the Milford community.
— Congressman Tom Kean (@CongressmanKean) February 8, 2023
“The Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family,” Milford Mayor Henri Schepens said.
“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.”
“He will be sorely missed by all and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
According to Fox News:
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 Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, who was found dead in her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
BREAKING: Another New Jersey Republican council member Russell Heller (left) shot dead in his car, exactly one week after the slaying of Republican Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour. The suspect (right) then killed himself. What is happening in New Jersey? pic.twitter.com/0X11kvkvp1
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) February 9, 2023
The murder of Heller comes just days after a Republican councilwoman was shot dead outside her own home last week.
As Slay News reported, 30-year-old Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was found dead in her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
According to the Sayreville Police Department, the killing was a targeted attack.
NJ Councilman Russell Heller (R) shot dead just a week after slaying of NJ Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour (R) https://t.co/QEG7oWzUt9
— Logan Ratick (@Logan_Ratick) February 9, 2023
Dwumfour’s murder remains unsolved.
Authorities have not linked the crimes, and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office insisted that Heller’s murder appeared to be “an isolated incident.”