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U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas’ husband and son were shot on Sunday by a man posing as a delivery driver for Federal Express who entered their home in North Brunswick, reports the New Jersey Globe.
The judge’s son, Daniel Anderl died from his injuries. He was 20-years-old and attending a University in Washington, D.C.
Her husband, Mark Anderl, is in critical condition following a surgery at North Brunswick’s Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He is 63 and works as a criminal defence attorney. He was also previously an Assistant Essex County Prosecutor.
“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,” tweeted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re looking for one subject & ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call us.”
Salas was reportedly unharmed in the incident and the suspect is still unknown at this time. She has reportedly been receiving threats though it is still not known whether she was the target.
“I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to NJ’s federal bench,” U.S. Senator Bob 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.”
Salas is a well known and respected jurist who was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge. She is also New Jersey’s first Latina federal judge.
“Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act,” Gov. Phil Murphy noted. “This tragedy is our latest reminder that gun violence remains a crisis in our country and that our work to make every community safer isn’t done.”
Salas is reportedly the judge responsible for overseeing the Deutsche Bank lawsuit by investors who allege that misleading and false statements were made by the bank before it paid a $150 million fine due to compliance failures linked to Jeffery Epstein.
“No words can express the sadness and loss we share tonight as a community after senseless shootings of the husband and son of USDC Judge Esther Salas,” said Francis “Mac” Womack the North Brunswick Mayor in a statement on Monday.
“We commit to do all we can to support the family in this time, as well as all law enforcement agencies involved,” Womack added.
A similar event took place in 2005 when Joan Lefkow, a U.S. District Court Judge’s mother and husband were shot to death in her Chicago home. A suspect admitted to the crime in a suicide note after killing himself adding that he intended to kill the judge.
“We’re shocked by this horrific and violent act, and (the office of the attorney general) and (New Jersey State Police) offer our full investigative support to our federal partners,” Grewal said. “We express our deepest sympathies to Judge Salas and her family, and to all who are grieving in the aftermath of this tragedy.”
Potential witnesses have been asked by the New Jersey Attorney General to call the FBI at 973-792-3000.