The arrest of a Virginia man in connection with the shooting death of New Jersey Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour has shaken the community of Sayreville, where she tragically lost her life in February.
Rashid Ali Bynum, a 28-year-old resident of Portsmouth, Virginia, was taken into custody outside a Chesapeake City home on Tuesday.
Authorities charged him with first-degree murder and two firearm offenses, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.
Ciccone acknowledged the profound impact of the crime on the community and stressed the importance of pursuing justice. Bynum is currently awaiting extradition to New Jersey, where he’ll be detained at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional facility pending a pre-trial detention hearing in state Superior Court.
Dwumfour, a dedicated 30-year-old Republican councilwoman, tragically died in her SUV, the target of several bullets allegedly fired by Bynum. This heinous act took place while her 12-year-old daughter was in their home.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a man in black fleeing the scene. Despite months of silence regarding the investigation’s progress, authorities finally revealed crucial evidence linking Bynum to the crime scene. The evidence included his cellphone and vehicle presence near the location, as well as his physical description matching those from eyewitness accounts and surveillance footage.
The investigation also uncovered a connection between Bynum and Dwumfour. Bynum’s name, annotated with the acronym “FCF” for “Fire Congress Fellowship,” was found in Dwumfour’s phone contacts. This fellowship was linked to the Champion Royal Assembly, a church the councilwoman was associated with.
Authorities reported that Bynum had performed internet searches relating to Dwumfour’s church, her residential town, and information about a particular handgun. A firearm was also found at a Smithfield, Virginia, address where Bynum was known to have returned after the alleged shooting.
However, the motive behind the councilwoman’s murder remains unclear.