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NJ GOP Councilman Was Murdered Over ‘Employment Disciplinary Actions,’ Prosecutor’s Office Says

  Russell Heller, a GOP councilman in Milford,   New Jersey , was   fatally shot   earlier this week over a prior workplace dispute, the Som...

 Russell Heller, a GOP councilman in Milford, New Jersey, was fatally shot earlier this week over a prior workplace dispute, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

Heller, 51, was found dead Wednesday morning in the parking lot of PSE&G, a local energy company where he worked as a senior distribution supervisor. Roughly three hours after discovering Heller, police found and identified the lifeless body of 58-year-old Gary Curtis, one of Heller’s former coworkers.

“The investigation has revealed that the motive for the homicide in which Mr. Curtis fatally shot Mr. Heller was due to prior employment disciplinary actions between subordinate and supervisor,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, according to

Authorities said that Curtis used a legally-owned handgun to murder Heller before fleeing the scene and driving to nearby Bridgewater, where he shot himself in his car. Curtis was reportedly fired last year from PSE&G, and his family told that they remember hearing him discuss problems at work and mentioning that Heller was his supervisor, but he never specified why he was fired.

Curtis’ family members were “beyond shocked” that he would resort to violence, describing his actions as “out of character.”

“We never knew him to be a person who would ever be pushed to a point where he would carry out something that he did,” his cousin Robert Williams said. “We’re just beyond shocked. We’re sad for everyone who is involved in this situation.”

The 58-year-old suspected murderer filed a harassment complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission in 2021 or 2022, but said that PSE&G did “nothing” to address it, according to Williams.

The quick revelations about the case from the prosecutor’s office in Somerset County are a stark contrast to the New Jersey prosecutor’s office investigating the slaying of GOP Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, which occurred exactly one week prior to Heller’s murder.

More than a week after Dwumfour was shot as many as 14 times as she pulled up to her Sayreville home, authorities have not made any arrests or revealed any information about a suspect, weapon, or motive.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has requested an injunction to block news outlets from obtaining important information about Dwumfour’s murder, arguing that releasing any information to the public about the councilwoman’s death would hinder law enforcement’s investigation.

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