Eunice Dwumfour murder: Arrest made in shooting death of Sayreville Councilwoman

NEW BRUNSWICK – Though an arrest has been made, there are still unanswered questions about the killing of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour four months after she was gunned down outside her home.

Rashid Ali Bynum, 28, of Portsmouth, Virginia, was arrested at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday and charged with the February slaying.

Bynum was taken into custody outside a residence in Chesapeake City, Virginia without incident. He was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, and second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announcing that an arrest was made in the killing of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announcing that an arrest was made in the killing of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone did not give a motive during a press conference announcing the arrest Tuesday afternoon.

The prosecutor said Dwumfour knew Bynum from Fire Congress Fellowship, a church the councilwoman was previously affiliated with, which is connected to Champions Royal Assembly Church in Newark.

Bynum was listed as one of the contacts in Dwumfour's cellphone, Ciccone said.

Bynum was developed as a suspect after his cellphone was found to have been in an area off Ernston Road in Sayreville prior to the killing.

Witnesses reported seeing an unoccupied white Hyundai in the area, which Ciccone said was captured on surveillance video. The video also showed a person walking up the sidewalk in the direction of Check Avenue in Dwumfour’s housing complex minutes before the shooting.

Ciccone said records showed Bynum's cellphone traveled through E-ZPass at the same time as a white Hyundai with Virginia license plates on the date of the killing. A further police inquiry revealed the Hyundai's owner listed the vehicle for rental purposes, and Bynum's call records indicate he contacted the registered owner the day before the slaying.

Ciccone said a handgun was recovered at a Smithfield, Virginia address Bynum returned to after the shooting.

"The murder has shaken the community and no arrest will bring back the late councilwoman," the prosecutor said.

John Wisniewski, the attorney representing the Dwumfours, said family in attendance at the press conference did not recognize the suspect’s name or his photo.

“For the family there are as many questions now as to why did he target Eunice, what was the motivation behind him targeting Eunice, and those are all unanswered,” Wisniewski said.

Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour
Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour

He said the family thanks God that their prayers have been answered but it’s an emotional time for them.

He said Dwumfour's mother Mary is traveling, and the daughter is in school and there were other family members who could not be at the press conference.

He did not know if Eunice’s husband knew the suspect.

“I hope that today is the beginning of a healing process,” said state Attorney General Matt Platkin.

Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said with the arrest, the path to true justice for Dwumfour can begin because that’s what she deserves.

“My prayers are going to her family because she has never been forgotten and she’s not going to be forgotten as long as I am here, and as long as I’m a part of Sayreville Eunice's name is going to be continued to be spoken,” Kilpatrick said.

The mayor said she’s looking forward to getting more information about who would want to hurt Dwumfour whom she called “a beautiful person.”

It's also a time for healing in Sayreville, she said.

“There was a cloud over our community because we have never seen anything like this, and I never want to see anything like this again," Kilpatrick said.

“We want to thank the law enforcement community, especially the Sayreville Police and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, for their diligent and dedicated efforts in investigating the murder of Councilwoman Dwumfour,” state Sen. Joseph Vitale, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, all D-Middlesex, said in a joint statement. “This is welcome news to the Sayreville community, and we are confident justice will be served. We hope this will bring some measure of comfort to Councilwoman Drumfour’s family. Our community’s prayers continue to be with them.”

Bynum is awaiting extradition to New Jersey. He will be held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional before his appearance for a detention hearing in Superior Court.

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This is a case that has drawn national interest.

Dwumfour, 30, the first Black elected official in Sayreville, was found dead in her vehicle on Feb. 1 with several gunshot wounds. Sayreville police officers went to Samuel Circle off Ernston Road in the Parlin section after receiving 911 calls of gunshots fired.

A 911 caller reported that he saw a man dressed all in back "shooting into the driver's side of a white vehicle" the night Dwumfour was killed, then fleeing the scene on foot, according to a 911 call obtained by

The 911 caller reported hearing gunshots in area of Samuel Circle at about 7:22 p.m.

"First I heard gunshots. I looked out my window and saw a man shooting into the driver's side of a white vehicle three times and then he ran into a hallway on foot," the man told police.

When asked if he could describe the shooter, the man said he was far away, but the shooter was wearing all black and left on foot while the white car crashed into two other vehicles.

Other 911 callers reported hearing gunshots in the area of the Camelot at La Mer apartment complex in the Parlin section of Sayreville.

One caller reported hearing eight gunshots and his wife spotted someone running who was wearing all black.

Dwumfour, a Republican, was elected to the Borough Council in 2021.

The daughter of Ghana natives, Dwumfour grew up in Newark and moved to Sayreville with her daughter from a previous relationship several years ago.

Last year ceremonies were held in New Jersey and Africa celebrating Dwumfour's marriage to Ezechukwu Peter Akwue, a pastor in Nigeria.

This article originally appeared on Arrest made in murder of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour