New Jersey state buildings flew their flags at half-staff on Wednesday, Feb. 8, in honor of Eunice Dwumfour, the Sayreville councilwoman who was shot and killed outside her Central New Jersey home on Feb. 1.
Members of the Dwumfour family held a memorial service for the slain councilwoman at Sayreville’s Epic Church International on Wednesday evening, with the city’s Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick and N.J. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin delivering condolences to the family.
The 30-year-old Dwumfour was shot some 10 to 13 times while she sat in her white Nissan SUV. She had just returned to her Camelot at La Mer townhouse home in the Parlin section of Sayreville and was reportedly seen talking to a man standing outside her car on Check Ave. near Samuel Circle. The shooter––a man dressed in a hoodie––opened fire on her at around 7:20 p.m. and then is suspected to have escaped by running between two buildings and into a neighboring wooded hillside, in the direction of the Garden State Parkway.
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By 7:22 p.m., a neighbor had phoned 911 to report that shots had been fired. Police arrived by 7:30 p.m. and found Dwumfour alone and inside her car, slumped over her steering wheel, dead. Her SUV had rolled 100 feet away from where it had been parked, and bumped into two other parked cars.
“Dwumfour had succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced [dead] on scene,” the Middlesex County Prosecutor said in a statement.
Child of Ghanaian immigrants
Dwumfour, a child of immigrants from Ghana, had just completed the first of a three-year term on the Sayreville Borough Council. Elected to the council in November 2021, she took her seat in 2022 at age 29. In her campaign for the council seat, Dwumfour spoke of wanting to “improve the lives of…residents” and being “fully dedicated to building a better, stronger Sayreville.” Sayreville is in Middlesex County, 40 miles south of New York City. Its residents are predominantly middle class and the city’s demographic mix, according to Data USA, is 49.4% white, 16.5% Asian, 12.7% white Hispanic, and 11.4% Black or African American.
Dwumfour was a Republican Party representative and served on the Public Safety, Recreation, and Water & Sewer/Environmental Standing committees and as a liaison to Sayreville’s Human Relations Commission, which aims to foster goodwill among the city’s ethnic groups.
Dwumfour was elected to office alongside the recently appointed Sayreville Borough Council President Christian Onuoha, a fellow Republican Party representative who is the child of Nigerian immigrants. Onuoha was also a close friend of Dwumfour and had in the past termed both of their political leanings as “moderate independent.”
Eunice was the oldest of five children born to Mary and Prince Dwumfour. Her parents say they are cooperating with investigators, but have yet to hear that any progress has been made in the search for their daughter’s killer.
Dwumfour graduated from Weequahic High School in 2010 and from William Paterson University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in women’s and gender studies and a minor in social justice. She and her 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship had only been living in Sayreville for the past five years; Dwumfour had previously lived in the Washington, D.C.-area.
New councilwoman, newly married
The freshman councilwoman was also a newlywed, having just married her husband, Eze Kings, in Nigeria this past November 2022. Kings is based in Nigeria and when he heard about Dwumfour’s murder, he took to Facebook to post photos of their wedding day and write an emotional birthday post one month and a day before what would have been Dwumfour’s 31st birthday: “4th March is your birthday happy glorious birthday in addy [in advance] my love.”
Police authorities have reportedly reached out to Kings’s church to get a breakdown on her position in that organization in Nigeria. Dwumfour was also a pastor and director of churches with the Newark-based Champions Royal Assembly USA Campus Ministry.
Investigators have not yet identified a suspect or motive for Dwumfour’s murder. Authorities have not held a press conference about the crime, stated if it was racially motivated or said whether the public is in danger since the suspect is still at large. FBI officials in the bureau’s Newark office say they are working on the case with Sayreville police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The Sayreville Police Department has asked for anyone with video surveillance of the area to share their information with authorities.
“We are seeking assistance from residents of the Harbor Club and La Mer developments who may have video footage of the complex between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening. We are also seeking out anyone who may have traveled with a dashboard camera in their vehicle during those times along Ernston Rd, Gondek Dr, or Point of Woods Dr.,” the police department wrote. “If you have any video footage please email it to CIBevidence@sayreville.com or call Det. Morales at 732-727-4444. All information can be kept confidential.”
Management at Camelot at La Mer has already submitted footage that shows someone running away from the scene of the crime at high speed in a hooded black sweatshirt.