Russell D Heller, a New Jersey councilman was found dead in the parking lot outside his workplace, the PSE&G facility in Somerset County on Wednesday. He was discovered with wounds from gunshot in his car, the statement issued by the prosecutor’s office said.  

Who was Russell Heller?

Russell D Heller was a Republican Councilman for Milford Borough in Hunterdon County. He worked for an energy company, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) in Franklin Township. 

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The 51-year-old was shot a week after the killing of another Republican Councilwoman for Sayreville borough in Middlesex County, Eunice Dwumfour. 

Heller was called outside his vehicle at around 7 am by Gary T Curtis. Curtis is a 58-year-old former employee of PSE&G who then shot Heller, said Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald. Curtis was later discovered dead of a self-shot wound in a Bridgewater parking lot.

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Authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind the killing. The investigation revealed the shooting “was not politically connected with his elected office or political affiliation,” Deputy Chief Frank Roman Jr. said. 

PSE&G said in a statement that the company was “heartbroken at his tragic death. He was an admired employee and a supervisor with over 11 years of service.” 

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New Jersey Representative Tom Kean Jr. said that Heller “was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved.”

Last week, Sayreville Councilwoman Dwumfour was shot multiple times in her vehicle near her home on February 1. The 30-year-old councilor was also the mother of a 12-year-old daughter. She was the first Black woman voted into public office in Sayreville. 

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Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office sought directions to prevent the release of investigative records that media have asked for through Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests. The request was dropped Wednesday and the investigation is ongoing. State police and the FBI have also joined the investigation.