PSEG Employee Killed In Facility Parking Lot, Assailant Later Dies By Suicide

Police said a Milford man was shot and killed in the PSEG parking lot on Weston Canal Road the morning of February 8.

A 51-year-old PSE&G employee was killed February 8 outside his car in the facility’s Weston Canal Road parking lot by a man who police said later took his own life in Bridgewater.

Police said that Russell D. Heller of Milford was shot by Gary T. Curtis, 58, of Washington, a former PSE&G employee.

Curtis then drove to the commuter lot in Bridgewater located next to TD Bank Ballpark, where he died by suicide, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Heller was a Republican Borough councilman in Milford, a post he had held since 2020. A February 9 statement from the Prosecutor’s Office said that “(t)he investigation has revealed that the shooting of Mr. Heller was not politically connected with his elected office or political affiliation.”

Township police received multiple 9-1-1 calls at about 7:02 a.m. reporting a man suffering gunshot wounds in the facility’s parking lot, according to the release.

Responding officers found Heller had died by the time they arrived.

The preliminary investigation led detectives to identify Curtis, a former PSE&G employee, as the person who shot Heller, according to the press release.

Detectives tracked Curtis’ car to the Bridgewater parking lot at about 10:20 a.m., according to the release.

Investigators gather evidence from a car in which the body of a man police said killed the PSE&G employee was found, in a Bridgewater commuter parking lot.

Officers approached the car and found Curtis suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the release said. Curtis had a gun on him, according to police.

Although a motive has yet to be determined, police said that the shooting was an isolated incident, and that Heller was the intended victim.

Mayor Phil Kramer said in a statement that his “heart goes out to the families.”

“Thank you to our first responders and investigators for acting quickly even as the case develops,” he said in the statement.

Also commenting on the killing was Gov. Phil Murphy, who wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Russell Heller’s family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Kean Jr. wrote that he was, “shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of Milford Councilman Russell Heller. Russell was an outstanding public servant who proudly represented the river town he loved. My prayers are with his family and the Milford community.”

Zachary T. Rich, Director of the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners, wrote that the Commissioners “share in the collective shock and grief felt upon learning of Russell Heller’s senseless shooting death today. Russell was a dedicated and valuable member of the Milford and Hunterdon County community whose leadership and commitment will be sorely missed.”

“More importantly, however, Russell was a loving and caring father to his daughter and a dedicated and loyal friend to all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him,” Rich wrote.

“We join our colleagues in Milford in offering our most sincere heartfelt condolences to the Heller Family at this unimaginably difficult time for their tragic loss,” he wrote.

In a published report, Milford Mayor Henri Schepens said borough officials are “very shaken by this.”

“The Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family,” Schepens said, according to the report. “He was so full of life, it’s just unbelievable that he’s gone. Something like this has never happened in borough history.”

PSE&G also released a statement on the murder.

“We are heartbroken at the tragic death of Russell Heller, senior distribution supervisor at PSE&G. Russell was an admired employee with over 11 years of service with PSE&G. He will be sorely missed by all, and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

“This event is tragic and disturbing, and we are offering support to employees as they process this,” the statement continues. “We are cooperating with law enforcement with respect to their investigation.”

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department along with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, and investigators from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask that anyone who has information on the homicide 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. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports, and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

This story will be updated as new information is obtained.

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