Second N.J. Republican Council Member Shot Dead in a Week

Nick Kangadis | February 9, 2023
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Something’s rotten in the state of New Jersey. For the second time in a week, a Republican New Jersey council member was shot and killed.

Gunned down in the parking lot of his job at energy company PSE&G in the Milford area, 51-year-old Russell Heller was found dead after he was approached and shot dead near his car by suspect 58-year-old suspect, former PSE&G employee Gary T. Curtis.

Authorities are calling the incident a “workplace shooting” and not politically motivated. The alleged shooter Curtis was found “with a self-inflicted gunshot would” and pronounced dead not long after being found.

Heller’s murder comes just one week after 30-year-old Republican New Jersey councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour was shot and killed near her home in Sayreville.

There are still no suspects in Dwumfour’s alleged murder, but police have also ruled out political animus as the motivation for the attack on her, which raises serious questions.

Related: MEDIA CRICKETS: Shots Fired Into Home Where GOP Candidate's Children Were Sleeping

Even the NBC News correspondent reporting on the shooting noted how local authorities haven’t been very forthcoming with information on either shooting.

“They’re not saying anything about it,” correspondent Ron Allen said before giving authorities the benefit of the doubt. “They’re very tight-lipped about it, which is the way some towns deal with these things. But, they’re asking for more video, any clues, anything witnesses may have seen or heard. But a week later, there’s no suspect, there’s no sketch, there’s no apparent motive. It’s just a tragic mystery.”

How can you rule out political motivation when there’s no suspect? How can authorities possibly know — short of recovering a note — that Dwumfour wasn’t shot because of her political beliefs?

Local New Jersey authorities appear to have a lot of explaining to do.


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