SAYREVILLE, N.J. – Eunice Dwumfour, a New Jersey borough councilwoman, was found shot to death in her vehicle near her home Wednesday night, authorities said.
Gunshots were reported around 7:22 p.m. in Sayreville, a borough in New Jersey's Middlesex County, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Sayreville Police Chief Daniel Plumacker.
When Sayreville police officers arrived, they found Dwumfour in her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
“She was a 30-year-old woman. To have this happen in such a tragic way, I mean, our hearts are just broken and everybody wants an answer,” said Karen Bailey Bebert, the local GOP chairwoman who served as her campaign manager. “So we’re waiting with bated breath.”
Authorities have not said whether they believe the motive for the killing might be personal, political, or a random act.
In a 2021 campaign interview, Dwumfour described herself as a proud graduate of Newark public schools who earned a degree in women’s studies at William Patterson University while working part-time as an EMT.
"As a community we are shocked and saddened at the loss of Eunice Dwumfour,” Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said in a statement. “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.”
The mayor said Dwumfour, a Republican, 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.
“We are confident that our police department working collaboratively with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office 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,” Kilpatrick said.
Her sister, Priscilla, 20, said Eunice, who was born in the United States, was deeply wrapped up in her Christian faith and her church in Newark.
"She was always happy," Priscilla said.
Mahesh Chitnis, a member of Sayreville's Human Relations Commission, which Dwumfour served on, said she was killed 300 feet from his home.
"She was shot while returning back home," he wrote. "She was a woman full of life. When she missed HRC meetings she used to call me and ask me to put her on speaker so that she could participate. I was looking forward to meeting her tomorrow in our monthly meeting. We will miss her."
Sayreville, a borough of roughly 45,000 people, is about 30 miles south of Manhattan. At the scene Thursday, another car in the parking lot had damage apparently sustained when Dwumfour’s car struck it.
Bebert, who described Sayreville as a peaceful community, hopes to organize a vigil to celebrate what she called “a life cut too short by such a heinous criminal act.”
“She was so young,” she said. “It’s just rippling through the town.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sayreville New Jersey Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour fatally shot