FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has released a motive in the fatal shooting of Russel Heller, 51, of Milford Borough, a PSE&G supervisor, outside his car at the Weston Canal Road office in Franklin Township, Wednesday morning.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald, the investigation has revealed that the motive for the homicide in which Gary T. Curtis, 58, Washington, Warren County, a former employee of PSE&G, fatally shot Heller was due to prior employment disciplinary actions between subordinate and supervisor.
The investigation has revealed that the shooting was an isolated incident and Heller was the intended target, McDonald said.
Heller was fatally shot outside of his vehicle upon his arrival for work at the PSE&G facility. The handgun revolver utilized by Curtis, which was found on his person when he was located dead by authorities from a self-inflicted gunshot wound was legally registered to him, McDonald said.
Investigators have confirmed that Heller was a Republican Councilman for Milford Borough. The investigation has revealed that the shooting of Heller was not politically connected with his elected office or political affiliation, McDonald said.
On Feb. 8, at around 7:02 a.m., police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim within the parking lot of PSEG. Responding officers found Heller suffering from a gunshot wound. Emergency medical personnel from an area Trauma Center responded to the scene where the he was pronounced dead, McDonald said.
Then at around 10:20 a.m. detectives were able to track Curtis to a parking lot area in Bridgewater Township. Authorities approached the vehicle Curtis was operating and observed him suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Curtis was pronounced dead, McDonald said.
Anyone with information relating to the homicide to 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.