New Jersey Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, a Republican, was found shot to death in her vehicle outside her home.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office says the shooting happened just before 7:30 pm on Feb. 1.
The 30-year-old legislator suffered multiple gunshot wounds before crashing her white SUV and was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say they believe she was the intended target, but have yet to establish a motive.
Dwumfour has served in the Borough of Sayreville since November 2021 after defeating the incumbent Democrat in an upset, according to the New York Post, and was up for re-election in 2024.
Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said the local community is shocked and saddened.
“Eunice was a dedicated member of our Borough Council who was truly committed to serve all of our residents. The fact that she was taken from us by a despicable criminal act makes this incident all the more horrifying,” Kilpatrick said in a statement. “As Mayor I have worked very closely with Eunice in her time on the Borough Council. 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. On a personal note, I can’t adequately express my feeling of sorrow at the loss of a friend.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy released a statement condemning the attack and used Dwumfour’s murder as an opportunity to raise the issue of gun violence.
“I am stunned by the news of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour’s murder last evening in an act of gun violence. Her career of public service was just the 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 send my condolences to Councilwoman Dwumfour’s family and friends, her governing body colleagues, and the entire Sayreville community.”
New Jersey already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S. In December 2022, Murphy signed into law a bill further restricting a person’s ability to protect themselves with a firearm by increasing the number of “sensitive places” where concealed carry is not permissible.
A federal judge on Jan. 30 issued an order preventing the state’s sweeping concealed carry law from taking effect.
As authorities investigate Dwumfour’s shooting, an outpouring of support flooded social media.
“We are so heartbroken to announce that our friend, Councilwoman from Sayreville, part of our HRC (Human Relation Commission), our personal friend, a woman of God Eunice Dwumfour was muder tonight in Sayreville,” Juan-Nelia Rodriguez wrote in a Facebook post. “She was an amazing friend, a woman who loved God.”
He added, “I can’t stop crying. She was 30 years young and full of life. You will be missed my dear, precious friend. May she RIP.”