The son of a federal judge was killed and her husband injured when a gunman opened fire at their family home in New Jersey on Sunday night at about 5 pm.
What We Know:
- New Jersey U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas’ 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl was killed in the attack in her North Brunswick, New Jersey home by a suspect dressed in a FedEx uniform. Her husband, Mark Anderl, was injured, but Judge Salas, who was also home at the time of the shooting, was not injured.
- Sources said Daniel Anderl opened the door at the family home at about 5 pm on Sunday and was fatally shot through the heart. The judge’s husband, 63, was then shot several times. He is in a critical but stable condition at the hospital.
- North Brunswick Mayor Francis Womack said Salas received threats “from time to time” in the past but she is not believed to have received any recently. Investigators said prior threats made to the judge were a line of inquiry but authorities were also considering whether the husband’s work as a criminal defense lawyer could be a motive.
- Police have yet to establish a motive for the shooting. The FBI said they are searching for one person in connection to the attack. “The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Ester Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this evening, July 19,” FBI Newark tweeted.
- It is unclear if the suspect was a FedEx worker or was disguised as one at the time. “We are aware of the media reports and are fully cooperating with investigating authorities,” Jonathan Lyons, spokesman for FedEx, said.
- On July 15, four days before the shooting, Salas was assigned to the ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies. The suit also alleged the bank failed to properly monitor “high-risk” customers, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, contending that the firm failed to flag questionable transactions that were made from the account of Epstein.
- Salas was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed in 2011 having previously served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey. Her most high-profile case in recent years was the sentencing of Real Housewives of New Jersey reality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice for financial fraud charges.
- Salas and her family received support from public officials across the state. Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, expressed his sorrow in a statement Sunday night. “I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey’s federal bench,” Menendez said. “My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”
Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act. https://t.co/3mOYBSd6TA
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) July 20, 2020
We send our condolences and thoughts to the family and friends of Judge Salas, husband Mark, and son Daniel. Authorities ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call 1-973-792-3001.