A New Jersey borough council member was fatally shot in a car Wednesday evening, authorities said.
The victim was identified as Eunice Dwumfour, a member of the Sayreville Borough Council, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said.
Dwumfour was shot before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Samuel Circle in Sayreville, the prosecutor's office and police said in a news release.
Officers found a woman in her vehicle “who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds,” the release said.
Dwumfour, 30, died at the scene.
Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said in a news release Thursday: “As a community, we are shocked and saddened at the loss of Eunice Dwumfour.”
“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,” she wrote.
She said she is confident the police department and the prosecutor's office will reach "a quick and successful conclusion" leading to "the identification, arrest, and successful prosecution of the person responsible."
Mahesh Chitnis, a neighbor, shared a tribute to Dwumfour on Facebook, saying they both served on Sayreville’s Human Relations Commission.
He said Dwumfour was shot about 300 feet from his own home as she was returning to her home.
“I am shocked, scared and heartbroken,” the post said. “She was a woman full of life. When she missed HRC meeting she used to ask me to put her on speaker phone so that she could participate. I was looking forward to meeting her tomorrow in our monthly meeting. We will miss her…”
Juan Rodriguez and Nelia Rodriguez, both members of the Human Relations Commission, also shared a tribute on Facebook.
“She was an amazing friend, a woman who loved God. We were just at our HRC meeting Jan. 5th, 2023 and I just saw her this morning at the store. I remember saying to her I see you at the HRC meeting tomorrow not knowing tonight was going to be the end of her life," the post said. "I can’t stop crying. She was 30 years young and full of life. You will be missed my dear, precious friend.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was “stunned” by Dwumfour’s “murder last evening in an act of gun violence.”
“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," he said. "I send my condolences to Councilwoman Dwumfour’s family and friends, her governing body colleagues, and the entire Sayreville community."
A homicide investigation is ongoing. Murphy said New Jersey State Police were supporting the investigation.
According to the council's website, Dwumfour, a Republican, was serving a term from 2022 to 2024. She had a background in information technology and previously worked as the director of churches for Champions Royal Assembly, according to her LinkedIn page.
New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Bob Hugin called her death an act of “senseless violence.”
“We will remember Eunice for her steadfast dedication to the community, as well as her deep and abiding Christian faith. We have the utmost confidence that law enforcement will bring the perpetrators of this heartbreaking tragedy to justice. God Bless Councilwoman Dwumfour and her family,” he said in a statement.