The apparent victim of a murder-suicide, Milford Councilman Russell Heller, 51, was gunned down Wednesday morning in the parking lot outside of the PSEG facility in Somerset County where he worked.
“(W)e share in the collective shock and grief felt upon learning of Russell Heller’s senseless shooting death today,” said Zachary T. Rich, director of the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners in a statement issued Wednesday on behalf of the board.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office identified the shooter as a former PSEG employee. Gary T. Curtis, 58, was later found dead in parked car in Bridgewater Township, reportedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Authorities described the shooting, which took place at about 7 a.m. Wednesday, as “an isolated incident” that targeted Heller specifically, but indicated that an investigation into the motive was still underway.
“Russell was a dedicated and valuable member of the Milford and Hunterdon County community whose leadership and commitment will be sorely missed,” Rich said in his statement. “More importantly, however, Russell 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.”
A statement from PSEG about what it called a “tragic and disturbing” event noted that Heller was a senior distribution supervisor at the energy company.
“Russell was an admired employee and a supervisor with over 11 years of service with PSE&G,” it read. “He will be sorely missed by all, and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
The killing occurred on the same day as the memorial service for Eunice Dwumfour, the Sayreville borough councilwoman shot to death in her car in Middlesex County on the evening of Feb. 1. No link has been established between the death of the two elected officials.