A New Jersey council member has been shot and killed for the second time in just over a week in what officials are calling a “dreadful coincidence.”
Authorities responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting in a parking lot of the electric utility company PSE&G just past 7 a.m. on Wednesday and found 51-year-old Russell Heller, a member of the Milford Borough Council, dead from a gunshot wound, according to Somerset County prosecutor John McDonald.
McDonald said in a statement posted on his office’s Facebook page that Heller was an employee at PSE&G’s Somerset facility, and an investigation revealed that a former employee, 58-year-old Gary Curtis, had approached Heller in the parking lot and shot him. Detectives tracked down Curtis to a parking lot in Bridgewater Township.
Officials found Curtis suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and he was pronounced dead. Authorities are still working to determine his motive but consider this an isolated incident — and that Heller was the intended target.
The shooting came about a week after Eunice Dwumfour, a member of the Sayreville Council, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in her car in the town, which is near Newark. But officials do not believe the two incidents are related.
Milford Borough Mayor Henry Schepens said the timing of the two shootings is a “dreadful coincidence,” CNN reported.
“The common bond is that both of these council members love their towns and were dedicated to doing good,” he said.
No arrests have been made in connection to Dwumfour’s killing as of Friday.