Eunice Dwumfour, a 30-year-old New Jersey councilwoman, was found dead outside her Sayreville home on Feb. 1 in what officials believe was a “targeted” attack, authorities say.
In a press release, Sayreville police chief Daniel Plumacker and Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said a woman, later identified as Dwumfour, was located by police at 7:22 p.m. inside her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police said the councilwoman was pronounced dead on the scene, noting that the incident is being investigated as a homicide.
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.
Authorities told news outlets that Dwumfour was believed to be the intended target, but have not given a motive.
The Sayreville Police Department, meanwhile, alerted citizens in a statement on Facebook of police activity in the area while advising everyone to avoid the scene.
A video shared on social media by Charlie Kratovil, a journalist and the founder of New Brunswick Today, shows police at the scene of the shooting as a white Nissan SUV is being towed away.
Kratovil said on Twitter that he personally knew Dwumfour and described the councilwoman as “a very kind person and public servant.”
“A huge loss for the Sayreville community,” Kratovil wrote. “May she rest in peace.”
Dwumfour, a Republican and political newcomer, was elected in November 2021 and started her three-year term after winning against an incumbent Democrat in the Borough of Sayreville.
Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said in a statement on Thursday 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 Borough 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.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that he was “stunned” after hearing about the news of Dwumfour’s murder.
“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,” Murphy said.
I am stunned by the news of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour’s murder last evening in an act of gun violence. I send my condolences to her family and friends, and the entire Sayreville community.
I urge anyone with information to contact Sayreville local law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/mHulQuOrVZ
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 2, 2023
Friends of the councilwoman posted tributes on Facebook, saying the shooting “shocked [and] scared” them.
“[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 …”
Detective Juan Rodriguez and Pastor Doctor Nelia Rodriguez, both HRC members, said in a joint statement that Dwumfour was “a woman of God” and they were “heartbroken” after hearing about the murder.
“She was an amazing friend, a woman who loved God,” the statement reads. “I just saw her this morning at the store. I remember saying to her I [sic] see you at the HRC meeting tomorrow not knowing tonight was going to be the end of her life. I can’t stop crying. She was 30 years young and full of life. You will be missed my dear, precious friend.”
Dwumfour graduated from William Paterson University and worked as a certified business analyst and scrum professional, according to TAPinto.net.