An arrest has been made in the murder of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced the charges against Rashid Ali Bynum, a 28-year-old man connected to the Champions Royal Assembly Church in Newark on May 30.
Ali Bynum was arrested in Smithfield, VA, by local police.
Authorities said witnesses had seen a white vehicle near the shooting on Feb. 1, and law enforcement were able to pinpoint Bynum’s phone and car, a white Hyundai Elantra, using cellular tower extraction records.
Law enforcement officials were then able from phone records to tie Bynum to the Parlin-based Fire Congress Fellowship, and mutual contacts with Dwumfour where the two worked together. The councilwoman had been a leader in the Champions Royal Assembly in Newark, an off-shoot of a megachurch based in Nigeria.
Dwumfour, a Republican elected to the Sayreville Borough Council in 2021, was shot on outside her home in her car. She sustained multiple gunshot wounds at approximately 7:30 p.m and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neighbors told various media outlets that they heard six shots ring out followed by her SUV rolling down a hill in the townhouse development, stopping after hitting multiple parked vehicles. Residents said the shooting appeared to be targeted as the shooter stopped, opened fire and then drove away.
Dwumfour, 30-years-old, started her three-year term in 2022 after she and fellow Republican Christian Onuoha won seats on the council by beating incumbent Democrats. A business analyst and part-time EMT, Dwumfour was a member of the city’s human relations commission before being elected. She leaves behind a 11 year old child.
The Dwumfour family had expressed frustration in recent weeks due to a seemingly lack of movement in the case and not receiving updates from law enforcement officials.
Bynum is presently in Virginia awaiting extradition to New Jersey after the suspect was arrested after a joint effort between the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Sayreville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, and the Smithfield Police Department.
Bynum is being charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, and second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.