Virginia man charged in fatal shooting of New Jersey councilwoman

A Virginia man is accused in the fatal shooting of a New Jersey councilwoman in February as she sat in her vehicle, authorities said.

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Rashid Ali Bynum, 28, of Portsmouth, was arrested in Chesapeake City, Virginia, on Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun and second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, reported.

Bynum, who is awaiting extradition to New Jersey, is accused in the Feb. 1 shooting of Eunice K. Dwumfour, 30, a councilwoman serving her first term in the borough of Sayreville, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Ciccone said that Dwumfour had a number associated with Bynum in her cellphone contacts, The New York Times reported. Bynum had been a member of a church group connected with Dwumfour’s church. the Champions Royal Assembly in Newark, according to The church is an offshoot of a megachurch based in Nigeria, the news outlet reported.

Ciccone did not reveal a motive for the killing and did not take questions at the news conference, according to the Times. Dwumfour’s family was present at the news conference, according to WNBC-TV.

Dwumfour was killed while sitting in her white Nissan SUV outside Camelot at La Mer, a complex of three-story apartment buildings and duplex homes, in Parlin, an unincorporated section of Sayreville, at 7:20 p.m. EST on Feb. 1, the Times reported.

The vehicle rolled down a hill on Check Avenue before crashing into two other parked vehicles on Samuel Drive, reported.

“We were waiting for my mom to look for a parking space, and then she was taking a lot of time, so we started calling her over and over and over, but it wouldn’t pick up. And then we heard gunshots, and we started calling the police,” the councilwoman’s daughter, Nicole Teliano, told The Associated Press in late April. “I thought it was fireworks.”

Dwumfour had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the AP.

Dwumfour grew up in Newark and received a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from William Paterson University of New Jersey in 2017, according to the Times.

“It’s so painful. It’s so painful. Every day by day, we think about her. We cry, I cry every day by day,” the councilwoman’s husband, Peter Ezechukwu, told the news organization.

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