New Jersey councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour shot and killed, authorities say
By Kristina Sgueglia, Eric Levenson and Kiely Westhoff, CNN
A 30-year-old councilwoman in the borough of Sayreville, New Jersey, was found shot to death in her car on Wednesday, according to authorities.
Eunice Dwumfour, a Republican councilwoman, was found by police with multiple gunshot wounds just after 7 p.m. Wednesday and was pronounced dead on scene, according to Middlesex County officials.
Dwumfour was inside her car near her home when she was shot, according to CNN affiliate WABC. The vehicle then took off down the road and crashed into other parked vehicles, the affiliate reported.
Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said she was “shocked and saddened” to learn of Dwumfour’s death, saying she was “taken from us by a despicable criminal act.” She and Dwumfour worked closely together on the council, she wrote.
“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,” the mayor said. “On a personal note, I can’t adequately express my feeling of sorrow at the loss of a friend.”
Officials said the investigation is ongoing and they do not have a motive at this time. CNN has reached out to the prosecutors and police for more details.
Dwumfour was elected to a three-year term on the six-member borough council in November 2021, according to election results. She also served as a member of the Human Relations Commission, according to the Sayreville website.
Sayreville, located in central New Jersey, has a population of about 45,000 people, according to the US Census.
On the Sayreville GOP website from 2021, Dwumfour asked the public to support her run for the council.
“Like you, Sayreville is my home, I love and cherish this town and it is my desire to help improve the lives of its residents,” she wrote. “In the past few years, we have seen many changes including a worldwide pandemic, but despite all, Sayreville still stands strong because of residents like you.”
“I am fully dedicated to building a better, stronger Sayreville, and with your support, we can create a brighter future for our wonderful town.”
Nelia Rodriguez described her friend Dwumfour as a “beautiful person.”
“This is why it’s so devastating to know what happened to her,” Rodriguez told CNN’s Bianna Golodryga on Friday.
Rodriguez, who served on the Human Relations Commission alongside Dwumfour, said she has known her since 2017.
“She was very motivated, very positive. A woman that you would want to have her around your children and talk to them,” Rodriguez said. “Even when you felt down, she was still motivating you to keep going.”
Rodriguez also described Dwumfour as a “caring” woman of faith. She said she saw Dwumfour at the grocery store the morning that she was killed and that she did not appear to be under threat. Rodriguez said she was “happy” and “bubbly.”
“I just hope that justice be served for her because she didn’t deserve to die the way she did,” Rodriguez said.
New Jersey Republican Party Chairman Bob Hugin issued a statement expressing his “horror and deepest sorrow” at her killing.
“We will remember Eunice for her steadfast dedication to the community, as well as her deep and abiding Christian faith,” he said.
Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Thursday morning he was “stunned” by the news of her killing.
“Her career of public service was just beginning, and by all accounts she had already built a reputation as a committed member of the Borough Council who took her responsibility with the utmost diligence and seriousness,” he said. “I send my condolences to Councilwoman Dwumfour’s family and friends, her governing body colleagues, and the entire Sayreville community.”
The governor later added that “we’ll do anything we can to track down this murderer.”
He urged the public to come forward and connect with authorities if they know anything, “even if it’s a little thing.”
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