By: Richard L. Smith
Somerset County Prosecutor reported an ongoing homicide investigation in Franklin Township (Somerset County), New Jersey.
Prosecutor McDonald stated that on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at approximately 7:02 a.m. Franklin Township Police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim within the parking lot of PSEG on Weston Canal Road, Somerset.
Responding Officers encountered a deceased adult male suffering from a gunshot wound.
Emergency Medical Personnel from an area Trauma Center responded to the scene, where the male was pronounced dead.
Authorities identified the decedent as Russell D. Heller, 51, Milford, New Jersey. Mr. Heller was actively employed with PSEG at the Somerset facility.
Prosecutor McDonald stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, 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 responded to the scene to conduct the investigation.
The investigation revealed that a former employee of PSEG, whom authorities identified as Mr. Gary T. Curtis, 58, Washington approached Mr. Heller in the parking lot, shooting him outside his vehicle.
Prosecutor McDonald stated that at approximately 10:20 a.m., detectives assigned to the investigation were able to track Mr. Curtis to a parking lot area in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.
With the assistance of Bridgewater Township Police Officers, authorities approached the vehicle Mr. Curtis was operating and observed him suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Mr. Curtis was in possession of a firearm.
Medical personnel were requested to the scene and Mr. Curtis was pronounced deceased.
The investigation remains ongoing to determine motive.
Sources familiar with the men told RLS Media that the incident resulted from a hostile work environment when Curtis was employed at PSEG.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that the shooting was an isolated incident and Mr. Heller was the intended target.
Prosecutor McDonald, Chief Fodor, and Director Maeweather request anyone with information relating to the homicide to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100