A second New Jersey council member killed in a week

Posted at 10:06 AM, Feb 09, 2023

Elected officials on both sides of the aisle in New Jersey are expressing condolences over the killing of a second local council member Wednesday, just a week after another council member was murdered.

According to, Milford councilman Russell Heller was shot and killed allegedly by a co-worker Wednesday morning outside the PSE&G Somerset Division Headquarters. His killing come after Sayreville councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was fatally shot in a vehicle near her home on Feb. 1.

“Early this morning, a deadly shooting took place outside of a PSE&G facility in Franklin Township,” Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Russell Heller’s family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence.”

Newly-elected Republican Rep. Tom Kean Jr. of New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District took to social media to express his outrage.

“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of Milford councilman Russell Heller,” Kean said. “Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved. My prayers are with his family and the Milford community.”

The two incidents are considered separate and have shaken the Garden State. Both Heller and Dwumfour were elected Republicans.

“I am stunned by the news of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour’s murder last evening in an act of gun violence,” Murphy said in a statement. “Her career of public service was just beginning, and by all accounts, she had already built a reputation as a committed member of the Borough Council who took her responsibility with the utmost diligence and seriousness.”

Dwumfour’s hometown of Sayreville is a proud, tight-knit, and safe community, Murphy said.

“I know that it will come together, as it always has, in common purpose,” Murphy said of Sayreville.

Kean said on social media that Dwumfour’s murder was a “horrific act.”

“I join many in hoping the perpetrator is swiftly brought to justice,” Kean said.

Mary Chao is a NYC and New Jersey-based reporter at Scripps News. Email