A Republican councilman from New Jersey is now dead, having been shot to death in what is alleged to be a murder-suicide. This is the second Republican council person to be shot dead over the course of the last several weeks, which seems really, really weird, though there doesn’t, as of now, appear to be a connection between the two cases.
“At approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, police received several reports of a shooting in the parking lot of a local PSE&G, a major gas and electricity provider. When police arrived at the PSE&G in Somerset, New Jersey, about 30 miles south of Newark, they discovered 51-year-old Russell Heller, a senior distribution supervisor who had worked for the company for 11 years, shot dead,” TheBlaze said.
“A preliminary investigation indicated that a former PSE&G employee, 58-year-old Gary Curtis, approached Heller in the parking lot and shot him outside his vehicle. Curtis then reportedly fled the scene,” the report continued.
Local law enforcement officials were able to trace Curtis’ whereabouts and three and a half hours after the shooting took place, found his vehicle in Bridgewater Township, which is 10 miles away. When the authorities approached the vehicle, they found Curtis inside, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, a firearm in his possession.
“Investigators are still trying to determine Curtis’ former role at the utility company and what type of relationship he may have had with Heller, if any. A press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office stated that the shooting was likely an ‘isolated’ incident and that ‘Mr. Heller was the intended target,’ though a motive for the shooting has not yet been determined,” the report said.
“In addition to his job at PSE&G, Heller was a father and a Republican councilman in the borough of Milford, about 40 miles west of where the shooting took place. He was elected to the position in 2020, and several prominent politicians have issued a statement to remark upon Heller’s untimely death,” TheBlaze report stated.
“The Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family,” Milford Mayor Henri Schepens stated. “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.”
New Jersey Republican Rep. Jom Kean Jr., whose federal district includes Milford, stated he was shocked by the murder, saying, “Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved.”
PSE&G also offered up a statement, though it made zero mention of Curtis, going on to say:
— PSE&G (@PSEGdelivers) February 8, 2023
“Heller is now the second Republican councilperson in New Jersey to be murdered in a matter of days. On the evening of February 1, Eunice Dwumfour, a 30-year-old councilwoman and mother, was shot multiple times in her vehicle just outside her home in Sayreville. Though Sayreville is only about 12 miles from where Heller was killed, the two incidents are not believed to be connected. The Dwumfour case remains unsolved,” the report concluded.
Image source: TheBlaze