What is going on in New Jersey? Hunting season has begun in the Garden State, but deer, bear, and other game species are not in season: it’s Republican politicians.
Leah covered how Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, 30, was shot and killed in Sayreville on February 2. Now, another council member, Russell Heller, 51, was shot and killed in the PSE&G parking lot around 7 AM. Heller was seated on the Milford township council.
The culprit was Gary Curtis, a former employee, who was later found in a parking lot in Bridgewater Township with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He succumbed to his injuries (via NBC News):
Authorities quickly determined that a former employee of PSE&G, identified as Gary T. Curtis, 58, of Washington, had approached Heller in the parking lot and shot him outside his vehicle, the prosecutor’s office said.
Detectives were able to track Curtis down hours later to a parking lot area in Bridgewater Township, where they found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, it said. Curtis, who was in possession of a firearm at the time, was pronounced dead shortly after.
Detectives are still working to establish a motive in the incident, the prosecutor’s office said.
Heller’s death comes a week after Eunice Dwumfour, a fellow Republican who had represented Sayreville, was found fatally shot in her vehicle near her home. Police have yet to identify a potential suspect or motive in her death.
Sayreville is around 55 miles east of Milford.
As reported, we don’t know a motive, but the timing is unnerving, given the political climate. Elected Republicans being picked off in New Jersey appears to be an emerging narrative, but let’s hold off for now. Either way, don’t expect much media coverage for obvious reasons. We all know how the press would’ve reacted if Mr. Heller and Ms. Dwumfour were elected Democrats.