New Jersey

NJ City Councilmember Shot and Killed Outside Her Home, Motive Unclear

Sayreville council member Eunice Dwumfour, a Republican, won an upset victory for her council seat in 2021

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A member of a New Jersey borough council was shot and killed outside her home Wednesday night, and police are still searching for the suspect and a motive.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said police received a 911 call just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday for shots fired on Samuel Circle in Sayreville. Officers responded and found a woman in her SUV outside an apartment complex with multiple gunshot wounds; she was pronounced dead on scene.

Neither police nor prosecutors initially identified the victim, before later confirming widespread reports that it was Eunice Dwumfour, 30, a member of the borough's council.

Law enforcement sources told News 4 that a significant number of shots appear to have been fired. Separately, neighbors suggested that there may be security camera footage showing Dwumfour talking to a man standing outside her vehicle just prior to the shooting.

Detectives were seen searching for evidence late Thursday afternoon, going through a dumpster just steps away from the shooting. Police said that the SUV rolled downhill after the shooting, crashing into other parked cars.

The gunman escaped between two buildings and into the woods, according to police.

"The guy sprinted through that mailbox alleyway and then I don’t know where he went," said neighbor John Catalda.

Local leaders were quick to mourn Dwumfour and praise her memory.

"Beyond her dedication to our community, I can share that she was a woman of deep faith and worked hard to integrate her strong Christian beliefs into her daily life as a person and a community leader," Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said in a statement.

Gov. Phil Murphy issued a statement calling it a "shocking development" and mourned Dwumfour's death, adding that the state police would assist local and county authorities with their investigation. He said he couldn't recall the last time a gunman killed an elected official in the state.

A rising star for local Republicans and an IT professional by trade, Dwumfour won an upset victory for her council seat in 2021 and recently finished her first term.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Dwumfour was also director of churches for an international ministry, Champions Royal Assembly. She was a pastor at an African Christian church in Newark. Her parents were from Ghana.

Dwumfour got married just a few months ago last fall, and was the mother of an 11-year-old girl.

"She seemed to have it all, she was happy. Happy with her new husband it seems, very happy her daughter and she had the life, she was living the life — the American dream," said Sayreville GOP Chairwoman Karen Bailey Bebert.

Sayreville is about 35 miles southwest of New York City and about 65 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

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