Second Republican Council Member Shot Dead A Week After Unsolved Murder Of Colleague


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A New Jersey councilmember was shot and killed in his car Wednesday, according to local authorities, just a week after a state councilwoman was murdered in a similar fashion.

Republican New Jersey councilmember Russel Heller, 51, was discovered dead in his car shortly after 7:00 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of his employer, local energy company PSE&G, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. A former employee, Gary Curtis, 58, was identified as a suspect in the shooting and was found dead in his car three hours later from what is currently suspected to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Heller’s death occurred exactly one week after the assassination of Republican councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, who was also shot and killed in her vehicle by a currently unidentified suspect. Dwumfour’s death occurred just 15 miles from Heller’s death. Somerset County Prosecutor’s office stated that the two murders are not linked. (RELATED: Video Shows Man Repeatedly Running Over Woman With SUV After Minor Incident)

Many have spoken out regarding the deaths of both councilmembers. Republican New Jersey Rep. Tom Kean said on Twitter that he was “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,” he continued.

No information on the suspect, nor when or why he left PSE&G was provided. Police have not released a motive for the suspected murder as of Thursday morning.