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Another GOP politician gunned down in NJ

Crime scene tape and police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
February 09, 2023

Another Republican politician has been fatally shot in New Jersey, just a week after a local councilor was gunned down in her car outside her home.

Russell Heller, a councilor in the borough of Milford, was fatally shot Wednesday morning by a former co-worker outside the offices of the energy utility company he worked at, reported.

The 51-year-old local councilor was killed in the parking lot by 58-year-old Gary Curtis, who later died of a self-inflicted gunshot, CBS News reported. Officials said Curtis walked up to Heller in the parking lot, shot him, then drove to a parking lot about a mile away and shot himself. 

A county prosecutor said investigators have determined the shooting was not politically motivated, according to CBS. A clearer motive has not been disclosed.

The shooting came only a week after Eunice Dwumfour, an councilor in the borough of Sayreville, was found dead in her car with multiple gunshot wounds. Her killer remains at large as the investigation expands to include state police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Times reported.

Russell had worked as a supervisor for PSE&G for the last 11 years, CBS reported. He was last elected in 2020, according to

Milford Mayor Henri Schepens said the council “is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family,” reported.

“He was so full of life, it’s just unbelievable that he’s gone. Something like this has never happened in borough history,” Schepens said. “We are very shaken by this.”

In a tweet, Rep. Tom Kean (R-NJ) described Russell as “an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved.”

Russell’s employer, PSE&G, said in a statement that he was “an admired employee” who “will be sorely missed by all,” CBS reported.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.