New Jersey councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour —who was gunned down near her Sayreville home Wednesday — was remembered by loved ones and colleagues as an accomplished newly married single mother who strived to help others.
Dwumfour, 30, was pronounced dead Wednesday night after being shot multiple times while driving her white Nissan near the Camelot at La Mer apartment complex.
Her car eventually came to a stop when it crashed into two parked vehicles, including one witness’ Lexus.
“It took a second before I realized there was a dead body behind the wheel,” the witness told The Post Thursday.
“There was one bullet hole in the passenger door and a bunch of bullet holes in the driver door. Some other neighbors said they saw someone running away with a mask on.”
Locals believe the gunman may have fled via the Garden State Parkway. Around 20 Sayreville officers were seen combing the side of the GSP exit to the Jon Bon Jovi Service Area on Thursday afternoon.
Although officials have not named any suspects, police at the scene later told The Post Dwumfour was caught on video speaking to the shooter just moments before her death.
A single mom – and new bride
At least two dozen mourners had gathered at Dwumfour’s parents’ Newark apartment on Thursday. Agonized screams could be heard echoing from the walls as loved ones grappled with the sudden loss.
Relatives told The Post the Republican councilwoman was the oldest of five children in a Ghanaian family, and leaves behind her own 11-year-old daughter.
One cousin, Rita K., said that Dwumfour was married in Africa in November. Her husband, Eze Kings, is a pastor in Nigeria.
“It’s hard to talk about it. It’s so hard. All I can tell you is [Eunice was] a humble woman. She’s very down-to-earth, very collected, laid back,” Rita said.
While Dwumfour’s mother, Mary, was too upset to speak, her father, Prince, said the loss of his daughter was a “big blow.”
Her ‘dream’ to help others
Originally from Newark, Dwumfour was elected to her first council term in the Borough of Sayreville in Nov. 2021.
A few weeks before the victory, she told TAPintoRaritan Bay that she was “‘proud’” to have graduated from Newark’s public schools before earning a Women’s Studies degree from William Paterson University in 2017.
At the time of her election, she had reportedly lived in the Middlesex County area for over five years.
“She moved [away] from Newark for a better life for her daughter,” cousin Kendra told The Post of Dwumfour’s decision to leave the city she was raised in.
A few months after being elected to the council, Dwumfour was given an honorable mention on InsiderNJ’s 2022 African American Power List.
“When [Eunice] was young, I think her dream was to be a councilwoman to help a lot of people,” aunt Beatrice Saahene explained.
“That’s what her dream was. She didn’t do it for the power. She did it for helping people. She was born here, so she was a citizen here. She wanted to give back to the country.”
A faithful role model
Dwumfour’s younger sister, Priscilla, said her late sister’s desire to help the community stemmed from her Christian faith.
“She loved God. Every aspect of her life was God,” she remembered, noting that Dwumfour previously served as a volunteer EMT and gave CPR classes.
“She always wanted to help the community, no matter where she was. Even when she came back here to visit us, she would stop by and have conversations with people, invite them to her church – ‘Come, we’ll feed you, don’t worry. If you need a ride, call me.’ She was always like that.”
Dwumfour also found ways to incorporate her faith into her professional life.
“She was a pastor,” Prince Dwumfour said of his daughter.
At the time of her death, Eunice Dwumfour was also listed on LinkedIn as a business analyst and “scrum master” for Fire Congress Fellowship, Inc., and as Director of Churches for Champions Royal Assembly North America.
Champions Royal Assembly is a ministry run by Nigerian pastor and televangelist Joshua Iginla. Dwumfour frequently posted about Iginla and the ministry on social media.
In a Dec. 2022 post celebrating her wedding, she thanked the preacher and his wife as her “spiritual parents.”
Looking back on her sister’s legacy, Priscilla lamented that she no longer had such a strong, female role model in her life.
“It’s my only other sister. I didn’t have any other sisters to look up to. I only have my brothers now,” she said.
Past legal trouble
Despite Dwumfour’s apparently happy personal life, she was also no stranger to public controversy.
Less than a year into her first term on Sayreville’s council, she was one of two Republicans who moved a resolution for a local investigation into disgraced former Democratic councilman Thomas Pollando’s role in a strip club bribery scheme.
A few years earlier, Dwumfour was also embroiled in her own legal trouble stemming from a 2017 car accident.
According to a lawsuit filed in Dec. 2019, plaintiff Frank Fernandez-Tavare alleged that Eunice Dwumfour was the owner and possible driver of a car that was driven “negligently and recklessly” into his own vehicle in Hillside on Dec. 21, 2017.
In the suit, Fernandez-Tevara claimed to have suffered “serious, grievous, permanent and disabling injuries” in the crash.
Motions in the case continued for almost two years before it was ultimately dismissed in Aug. 2021.
Fernandez-Tavare could not be immediately reached for a comment.
As the investigation into Dwumfour’s death continues, relatives and colleagues are still puzzling over the motive behind the shocking tragedy.
“[Eunice] loved God dearly, so I don’t know why the devil came and took her life just like that,” Saahene said.
“Whoever did that, I know he will pay for it … Her spirit will hunt them down.”
“We don’t know what happened,” Prince Dwumfour said.
“Now, [Eunice is] no more. My prayer is may God give her a better place to rest. One day, we will meet her again.”
Arthur Rittenhouse, 78, former chair of the Sayreville GOP and one-term councilman, told The Post he was shocked by the killing.
“[Eunice] was very well liked by anybody who spoke to her or had any dealings with her, so this was really a shocking event,” he said.
Rittenhouse explained that he first met Dwumfour five years ago through local politics, and that the two shared a special bond because they both graduated from William Paterson.
He also admitted that politicians often have disagreements, but “nothing that would lead to this.”
“She had a very, very pleasant personality. And she was a woman of her faith, and she always expressed that to whomever she was speaking to,” he said.
Asiya LaPierre, Dwumfour’s next-door neighbor in Sayreville, was similarly appalled by the crime.
“I’m in shock! I couldn’t believe this happened to her. She was such a kind person. Such a sweet woman,” she said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the police had not responded to The Post’s request for a comment on the case.