Just one week after the targeted killing of rising Republican Party star Eunice Dwumfour, a newly elected New Jersey councilwoman, a second GOP leader was slain in the Garden State.
Russell Heller, a municipal council member in Milford, a borough of Hunterdon County, was gunned down in the parking lot of PSE&G, a local energy company at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday. Police say he was found dead in his car.
His murder comes just one week after the targeted killing of Dwumfour, which remains unsolved.
“The investigation remains ongoing to determine motive,” the Somerset County prosecutor’s office said. They prosecutor stressed that “Heller was the intended target.”
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The murder suspect in Heller’s killing was identified by police as Gary Curtis, a former employee of PSE&G. Curtis was reportedly found dead in his own vehicle just hours after killing Heller, police said.
Curtis died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. Authorities said they believe it was a murder-suicide and an isolated incident.
Rep. Tom Kean Jr., R-N.J., said he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic murder” of the Milford, New Jersey Republican leader.
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
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Milford Mayor Henri Schepens told NJ.com —
he 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.