The bright political future of a young New Jersey councilwoman was cut short after she was shot and killed outside her home earlier this week.
Around 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday, police in the borough of Sayreville, New Jersey, about 25 miles south of Newark, received a call about shots fired. When they arrived, they found 30-year-old Eunice Dwumfour slumped over in her white Nissan SUV, which had also crashed into her residence. Dwumfour had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, FOX 5 NY reported.
Witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee the apartment complex, and police believe that Dwumfour was the victim of a "targeted" attack." However, police have not shared a possible motive for the crime and have not made any arrests.
By all accounts, Dwumfour was a rising star in local politics. She and a fellow Republican challenger had ousted two Democrat incumbents on the six-member borough council in a shocking upset in November 2021, and Dwumfour seemed to possess the poise and temperament necessary for the contentious political arena.
Local leaders are "always the focus of slings and arrows," said borough administrator Glenn R. Skarzynski, "and to be able to maintain that composure and smile in the face of adversity [as Dwumfour did] is a very important attribute."
Skarzynski also called Dwumfour "a very lovely person" who "always had her constituents' best interest in mind."
Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick, a Democrat, expressed deep "sorrow" for Dwumfour's untimely passing. "Beyond her dedication to our community, I can share that [Dwumfour] 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," Kilpatrick said in a statement. "On a personal note, I can’t adequately express my feeling of sorrow at the loss of a friend."
Dwumfour, a mother of one child, was also very active in her church, which has strong ties to Nigeria. "I remember saying to her I'll see you at the HRC meeting tomorrow not knowing tonight was going to be the end of her life," Pastor Doctor Nelia Rodriguez posted online. "I can't stop crying. She was 30 years young and full of life. You will be missed my dear, precious friend."
Dwumfour grew up in Newark and graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in women's studies. She was the director of churches for the Nigeria-based Champions Royal Assembly and was also a part-time EMT. InsiderNJ.com had named Dwumfour to its African American Power list in 2022.
Sayreville Republican Chair Karen Bailey Bebert released a statement following Dwumfour's death: "We remember Eunice for how she lived, not for how she died. She was the embodiment of Sayreville, living the American Dream, overcoming challenges with grit and a smile. And always giving of time and love to others. She embodied Sayreville and will be terribly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her."
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