Wednesday morning, Russell Heller, a 51-year-old Republican on the Milford Borough Council, was brutally killed in a parking lot outside his job at the PSE&G energy company.
This occurrence comes only a week after Eunice Dwumfour, another Republican that served as a member of the Sayreville Borough Council, was found fatally shot in her vehicle near her home.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Gary T. Curtis, a former employee of PSE&G, had come up to Heller in the parking lot and shot him outside his vehicle.
Later in the day, detectives located Curtis in a parking lot located in Bridgewater Township. Curtis was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
As of now, detectives are still trying to establish a motive for the shooting of Heller and have yet to identify a suspect in Dwumfour’s death.
Officials have not found any linkages between the two incidents, and the prosecutor’s office has stated that Russell Heller’s death appears to have been an “isolated incident.”
In response to the tragedy, PSE&G released a statement on Twitter, expressing sorrow at Heller’s passing and noting that he had been with the company for more than 11 years as a senior distribution supervisor and was highly respected by his colleagues. Furthermore, they declared they were cooperating with the authorities in the investigation of the incident.
The news of Heller’s death was met with grief, with Governor Phil Murphy expressing his sorrow for Heller’s family and friends on Twitter. Similarly, Tom Kean Jr., a Republican state representative, expressed his shock and sadness at the incident and highlighted Heller’s excellent service as a public servant and his love for his hometown.
The Milford Mayor Henri Schepens remembered Heller and the time he worked with him. He told WFMZ, “He had so much more to give. He was such a light.” Schepens added. “So positive. Always had a smile and always made any situation better.”