The son of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas was fatally shot and her husband critically wounded when a gunman dressed as a FedEx driver entered her home near North Brunswick, N.J., Sunday afternoon, according to local media.
Salas herself was reportedly unharmed in the attack, the New Jersey Globe reports. Daniel Anderl, Salas’ 20-year-old son, was killed. Her husband, Mark Anderl, a criminal defense attorney and former assistant Essex County prosecutor, reportedly underwent surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, and is listed in critical but stable condition.
The FBI in Newark tweeted that it was “investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Ester Salas” and that the bureau was “looking for one suspect.”
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. We’re looking for one subject & ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call us at 1-973-792-3001.
— FBI Newark (@FBINewark) July 20, 2020
A New Brunswick Police dispatcher told NPR that he could not confirm any details of the incident, but confirmed an ongoing investigation.
Salas, the first Latina to serve as a federal district judge in New Jersey, was nominated to her current position in 2010 by President Barack Obama.
The Globe said it was not immediately clear whether Salas, who it said had received threats in the past, was the target of the shooting. She has presided over high-profile cases, including the 2013 fraud trial of The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Joe and Teresa Giudice.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted late Sunday: “Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act.”
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said: “I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to NJ’s federal bench.”
“My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” Menendez was quoted by the Globe as saying.