FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – Milford Councilman Russell Heller was shot and killed over a workplace dispute according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.
Heller, the second New Jersey councilperson gunned down within a seven-day period was going to work at his job in Franklin when he was ambushed and murdered by a disgruntled employee. That employee, Gary Curtis later took his own life.
McDonald said that the investigation has revealed that Mr. Curtis fatally shot Mr. Heller as a result of prior employment disciplinary actions between his subordinate and supervisor led to the homicide. Mr. Curtis was a former employee of PSE&G. According to the investigation, Mr. Heller was the intended target of the shooting.
Mr. Heller was fatally shot outside of his vehicle as he arrived at the PSE&G facility for work. The shooting was an isolated incident. In the event that Mr. Curtis was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the handgun revolver used by Mr. Curtis was legally registered to him and was found on his person. According to investigators, Mr. Heller was a Republican councilman in Milford Borough (Hunterdon County).
According to the investigation, Mr. Heller’s shooting was unrelated to his elected office or political affiliation.
Heller was the second elected official shot and killed last week in New Jersey. Polce in Sayreville are still investigating the murder of Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour. Police there have not released any details and have not identified any suspects.