US Judge’s Husband Shot, Son Killed By Gunman Reportedly Dressed As FedEx Driver

An unknown assailant shot Judge Esther Salas' husband and son at their home on Sunday evening.

Two family members of a federal judge were shot at their home in New Jersey on Sunday by an unknown assailant, officials said.

NBC New York reported a gunman arrived at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, around 5 p.m. The person shot Salas’ 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, when he answered the door and then shot her husband multiple times before fleeing. Salas was home at the time but is not believed to have been injured.

The mayor of North Brunswick, Mac Womack, told ABC News Salas’ son had died. Her husband is believed to be in critical condition. The suspect has not been apprehended, but investigators told the outlet the person may have been dressed as a FedEx driver.

The intended target of the attack was not immediately clear. Salas’ husband, Mark Anderl, is a criminal defence attorney.

“The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey, earlier this evening,” the FBI told HuffPost in a statement, noting investigators were looking for one suspect. “We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available.”

Salas has been a judge on the US District Court for New Jersey in Newark for nine years and is the first Hispanic woman to serve on the federal bench in the state. She was appointed by former President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011.

The judge has presided over several high-profile cases, most recently the trial of Teresa Giudice, a former star on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

Last week, Salas was assigned to a lawsuit filed against Deutsche Bank. A group of investors has claimed the banking giant failed to flag questionable transactions made by “high-risk” customers, including the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, a convicted sex offender, died last August while awaiting trial over sex-trafficking charges.

“My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” New Jersey senator Bob Menendez told The Associated Press on Sunday night.

The Newark office of the US Marshals Service, which is charged with the protection of federal judges but typically does not guard judges around the clock absent a specific threat, said it was investigating the shooting late Sunday.

“The US Marshals Service is aware of the tragic incident involving Esther Salas, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, and her family and is currently investigating. The US Marshals Service is responsible for the protection of federal judicial officials and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

Womack said Salas had received threats in the past.

“As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any,” the mayor told ABC.

In the 2019 fiscal year, the US Marshals Service reported 4,449 threats or inappropriate communications to those they protect, up from just 926 in 2015. The US Marshals Service said it opened 373 predicated protective investigations, the most serious kind of inquiry, in 2019.


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