Fellow Parishioner Accused of Executing New Jersey Councilwoman
By Josh Fiallo,2023-05-30
The man accused of gunning down New Jersey city councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour outside her townhouse in February was arrested and identified Tuesday as Rashid Ali Bynum, a 28-year-old man connected to the same church as Dwumfour.
Prosecutors said Bynum was charged with first-degree murder but they would not disclose a possible motive. He also faces separate firearm charges.
Dwumfour’s slaying shocked loved ones and stumped investigators for months, as the beloved councilwoman was inexplicably found dead—riddled with bullet wounds—in an SUV outside her home.
Security footage captured the suspected gunman as he fled the scene, but his identity remained a mystery until Tuesday.
Dwumfour, 30, lived in Sayreville, where she’d served on the city council since being elected in 2021 as a Republican, becoming the first Black woman to serve on the council. She’d recently married a pastor in Nigeria, but decided to continue living in New Jersey with her daughter, who is now 12.
Prosecutors said Dwumfour and Bynum were connected through the Champions Royal Assembly Church. Bynum was listed as a contact in Dwumfour’s phone, but it’s unclear if the two had any further connections, or how often they spoke—if at all.
Dwumfour was reportedly studying to become a pastor herself. She grew up attending a church in Newark that’s tied to to the Champions Royal Assembly—the Nigerian mega church her husband preaches for.
Speaking alongside Dwumfour’s family, New Jersey Attorney General Platkin said Tuesday he hopes the arrest is “the beginning of the healing process and the beginning of a sense of justice.”
Cops said they used location data from Bynum’s phone to tie him to the crime. It allegedly showed him driving from Virginia to New Jersey, and then back south immediately after the shooting.
Bynum’s phone also passed through toll readers simultaneously with a white Hyundai Elantra—a make neighbors spotted “suspiciously parked” on the evening of Bynum’s murder, cops said.
Dwumfour was reportedly gunned down before she could put her car in park—the bullets slumping her onto the steering wheel as she rolled down a residential street unconscious, crashing into parked cars. Dwumfour’s daughter was reportedly waiting for her mom inside their home when shots rang out.
Authorities say Bynum was arrested in Chesapeake City, Virginia, where he lives, but will be extradited to New Jersey and be held at the Middlesex County Jail.