PSE&G supervisor killed by former employee was New Jersey councilman

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Friday, February 10, 2023
Employee killed at PSE&G facility was NJ councilman
The PSE&G supervisor gunned down by an employee at work was a Milford Councilman in Hunterdon County, officials announced. Toni Yates has the story.

MILFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey community is mourning a PSE&G supervisor and Milford councilman who was gunned down by an employee at work this week.

The incident happened on Weston Canal Road around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Police called to the scene found 51-year-old Senior Distribution Supervisor Russell Heller dead from a gunshot wound in the parking lot outside the facility.

A former employee, who authorities identified as 58-year-old Gary Curtis, approached Heller and shot him outside of his vehicle, officials said. Curtis was tracked to a parking lot area in Bridgewater Township where he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Heller was first elected to the council in 2017 and again in 2020.

"There's no words to describe the loss and sadness that this town is feeling right now, and his family," Milford Mayor Henri Schepens said.

Heller was a hometown guy who cherished everything Milford. And Milford loved him.

"His mother was on council for 20 years, his father was councilman and the mayor, so deeply rooted in this community," Schepens said.

Others are remembering Heller as a perfect gentleman and committed councilman.

Milford Fire Company Station 92 said that Heller was always an advocate of the town's fire company and was always trying to improve whatever he could.

The Milford Merchants Association also released a statement:

"There simply are no words for the tragedy that took place yesterday as our well-loved, kind, hardworking councilman was killed as he arrived at work. Our mayor and fellow council people are devastated. And his daughter, parents, and family are heartbroken beyond comprehension. Anyone who knew Russ found him to be a joy to be around. We surround you with our love and prayers."

Gov. Phil Murphy also released a statement after the shooting:

"Early this morning, a deadly shooting took place outside of a PSE&G facility in Franklin Township. Our thoughts and prayers are with Russell Heller's family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app.

PSE&G said after the shooting that they were offering support to employees and cooperating with law enforcement.

This was the second councilperson to die by gun violence within a week in the Garden State. A memorial service was held this week Eunice Dwumfour, the New Jersey councilwoman who was shot to death inside her car.

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