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 February 10, 2023

Second NJ Republican Council member fatally shot in one week

A Republican councilman was killed in a New Jersey shooting on Wednesday just one week after another council member was killed.

Russell Heller, 51, was allegedly killed by a former employee, according to reports.

The situation

"Authorities are still investigating the case, but said the shooting was not politically connected to Heller’s elected office or political affiliations," Breitbart News reported.

"Zachary T. Rich, the Director of Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement that Heller would be deeply missed, adding 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,'" it added.

Tragedy strikes twice

"The councilman’s murder came exactly a week after Sayreville Councilwoman Dwumfour — also a Republican — was gunned down in her SUV outside her home about 15 miles away. Her murder remains unsolved," the New York Post reported.

"Gov. Phil Murphy sent “thoughts and prayers” to Heller’s 'family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence,'" it added.

US Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ), whose district includes the area, also wrote a statement following the councilman's death.

"I am shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of Milford Councilman Russell Heller," Kean wrote.

"Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved. My prayers are with his family and the Milford community," he added.

The sad situation adds to the loss of Dwumfour last week on Feb. 1. In her case, authorities are looking at surveillance video that may include information to help track the shooter in the crime that occurred at about 7 p.m.

The two incidents just days apart have shocked the community and news has quickly spread nationwide. Police continue to investigate both shooting deaths to discover the motives behind the shootings in the difficult circumstances impacting the New Jersey town.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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