GOP Councilwoman’s Murder Doesn’t Appear to Be Politically Motivated, Says NJ Governor

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
February 3, 2023US News
GOP Councilwoman’s Murder Doesn’t Appear to Be Politically Motivated, Says NJ Governor
Eunice Dwumfour in a still image from a video released by NTD. (NTD)

The shooting death of Eunice Dwumfour, a Republican councilwoman in Sayreville, does not appear to be politically motivated, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Thursday.

The Democratic governor said during an interview with WNYC that the Wednesday night murder of the 30-year-old councilmember feels “very specific,” but noted that there’s “very little that is known right now.”

“I spoke to the GOP chair in both Sayreville and Middlesex County, as well as the commissioner director in Middlesex County,” Murphy told the New York-based radio outlet. “It does not appear to be related to her position as an elected councilwoman in Sayreville.”

The mother-of-one was found dead shortly after 7:20 p.m. on Feb. 1 with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. She was located inside her white Nissan SUV that crashed near her home in Sayreville, a borough in Middlesex County.

No arrests have been reported in connection with the shooting. However, an eyewitness who lives in the area saw an individual, possibly the suspect, running toward the Garden State Parkway, which is near the scene of the shooting, RLS Media reported.

Dwumfour’s relatives, as well as authorities, have told news outlets that it appears the councilwoman was the suspect’s intended target. Murphy also noted that there’s no evidence that suggests the shooting was accidental.

The governor said during Thursday’s interview that he spoke with “a whole bunch” of veteran officials about the event, asking if anyone could remember a sitting official who was shot and killed in the region.

“Nobody can remember,” Murphy said, noting that the case is “shocking” and “awful.”

At a news conference on Thursday, the FBI said agents are now assisting in the investigation, which also includes Sayreville police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

“The FBI is aware of that incident and we are working with all of our partners in order to find out more about that incident,” said James Dennehy, the FBI special agent in charge of the Newark field office, the New York Post reported.

Dwumfour was a political newcomer and was elected in November 2021. She took office in January 2022, starting a three-year term, after winning against an incumbent Democrat in Sayreville.

The councilwoman graduated from William Paterson University and worked as a certified business analyst and scrum professional, according to She also used to work as a part-time emergency medical technician (EMT).

Community Response

The homicide was addressed by a number of elected officials, including Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick, who said in a statement that the community is “shocked and saddened” at the loss of the councilwoman, adding that she had personally “worked very closely” with her as she served on the council.

“The fact that she was taken from us by a despicable criminal act makes this incident all the more horrifying,” Kilpatrick said, noting that she’s confident law enforcement “will bring this fast-moving investigation to a quick and successful conclusion and look forward to the identification, arrest, and successful prosecution of the person responsible.”

In a statement, the New Jersey Republican Party remembered Dwumfour for her “steadfast dedication to the community, as well as her deep and abiding Christian faith.”

“I would like to express our horror and deepest sorrow at the senseless violence that claimed the life of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour,” said Bob Hugin, chairman of the committee. “We have the utmost confidence that law enforcement will bring the perpetrators of this heartbreaking tragedy to justice.”

A friend of the councilwoman also posted a tribute on Facebook, saying the shooting “shocked [and] scared” her.

“[Dwumfour] was killed 300 feet from my home this evening. She was shot while returning back home. She was a woman full of life,” said Mahesh Chitnis, a member of Sayreville’s Human Relations Commission (HRC), of which Dwumfour is also a former member.

“When a fellow commissioner messaged me, I couldn’t believe that this can happen in my town,” Chitnis added. “After almost 2 hours, I am still processing the news.”

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