Russell D. Heller, a Republican councilman in Milford, New Jersey, was fatally shot on Wednesday, exactly one week after another council member was slain in the state.
According to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, the 51-year-old was found dead just after 7 a.m. in the parking lot of the PSE&G Somerset division building where he worked.
Gary T. Curtis, 58, was identified by authorities as a suspect following an investigation. The former colleague of Heller at PSE&G was later found dead in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound several hours after the killing.
Somerset police have not linked Heller's death to that of 30-year-old Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour on Feb. 1, calling the slaying "an isolated incident."
Dwumfour, a fellow New Jersey Republican, was in a white Nissan SUV when 12 shots struck her vehicle last week, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said.
Authorities have not yet determined a suspect or motive in Dwumfour's death, which occurred near the Camelot at La Mer apartment complex.
"I am shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of Milford Councilman Russell Heller," stated Republican Congressman Tom Kean, who represents the district covering Milford.
"Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved," he continued. "My prayers are with his family and the Milford community."
Zachary T. Rich, director of the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners, also expressed condolences over Heller's passing, noting that he "was a loving and caring father to his daughter and a dedicated and loyal friend to all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him."
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