Russell Heller, New Jersey Councilman from the Borough of Milford, was shot and killed on Wednesday, February 8th. According to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Heller was found wounded around 7 a.m. in his vehicle, in the parking lot of the electricity provider PSE&G, the company he worked for.
He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Heller, who was 51-years-old, was the second New Jersey Councilmember to die from a shooting in the space of a week. Eunice Dwumfour, a member of Sayreville Borough Council, died after she was also shot in her car on Wednesday, February 1st. The authorities have emphasized that the two shootings are not connected.
The police quickly determined that former PSE&G employee Gary Curtis was responsible for Heller’s murder. The prosecutor alleged that Curtis shot Heller from outside his vehicle. Reports indicate Curtis was found dead in Bridgewater Township. Officials said he died from a self inflicted gun wound and a firearm was found in his possession. Curtis’ motive for committing the crime was not clear at the time of reporting.
Heller was a Republican and had served on the Milford Borough Council for four years. He had also been an employee of PSE&G for more than 10 years, working as a senior distribution supervisor at the end of his death.
“We are heartbroken at the tragic death of Russell Heller,” PSE&G said in a statement. They continued, “Russell was an admired employee. He will be sorely missed by all and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Russell Heller is survived by his 19-year-old daughter, Kayla. He was a native of Milford, New Jersey having been born and raised in the township. His mother and father served the small town of 1,200 residents as council member and mayor respectively. His family had close ties to Milford. Heller was known for being a warm person.
“He always comes in with a big smile. And, you know, a funny comment for us all,” said Karen Dysart, who is the Milford Borough Clerk. “It’s just devastation. He is the nicest, nicest person you would ever wanna meet. Always a smile and a good word. Always. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.”