According to New Jersey authorities, a Virginia man was detained on Tuesday on suspicion of murder and possession of a firearm in the February shooting death of a local councilwoman who was discovered dead in her SUV outside her home.
Rashid Ali Bynum, 28, of Portsmouth, Virginia, was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon in the death of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.
Ciccone stated that the inquiry is ongoing and avoided explicitly addressing a cause of death for Dwumfour.
She claimed that Bynum appeared as a contact in her phone using an acronym that investigators connected to the church and was connected to a congregation that Dwumfour attended.
Authorities claimed that a witness saw someone who matched Bynum’s description in a car connected to him after they followed his cell phone to Sayreville, New Jersey, where Dwumfour was killed.
The announcement on Tuesday came close to four months after Dwumfour was discovered shot to death in her white SUV outside of the townhome complex where she resided. Her passing on February 1 devastated the neighborhood.
Dwumfour, a Republican, defeated an incumbent Democrat in 2021 to win her first three-year term. Coworkers remembered her as a gentle, devout Christian who could remain calm under pressure.
Along with Dwumfour’s family and the state’s attorney general, Matthew Platkin, who spoke to her family, authorities announced the accusations.
“There aren’t any things I can say to you that will make you complete. I am aware of this, responded Platkin. “I know too often when we talk about victims of gun violence — senseless acts of gun violence — we feel the pain that you all feel today,” the speaker said.
According to Ciccone, Bynum was detained in Chesapeake City, Virginia, awaiting extradition to New Jersey. It’s unknown whether he has a lawyer to represent him in court.