The husband and son of New Jersey federal judge Esther Salas were shot at their New Brunswick home Sunday afternoon. Salas' 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, died from his injuries. Her husband, 63-year-old Mark Anderl, a criminal defense attorney and former assistant prosecutor for Essex County is in critical condition, according to the New Jersey Globe.
The suspect is still at large. Anderl is being treated at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick and Salas was not hurt. The gunman was reportedly dressed as a Federal Express delivery driver and entered their home. It is not clear who was the target of the shooting, although the Globe reports that Salas had received threats.
Sources told NBC New York Mark Anderl answered the door and the gunman opened fire. Daniel Anderl rushed to the door and was shot before the gunman fled. Salas was in their basement at the time of the shooting, sources said.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Attorney General's office are all at the scene investigating. "The FBI is investigating a shooting that took place at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, NJ early this evening July 19. We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available," the FBI said in a statement.
"I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to N.J.'s federal bench," Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said in a statement. "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, 51, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by President Barack Obama and took office in 2011 after serving as a magistrate judge. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve as U.S. District Judge for New Jersey. She has presided over several high-profile cases during her tenure, including the bank fraud trial of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband, Joe Giudice.0comments
In a New Jersey Monthly profile, Salas said her son might be interested in following his parents into law, although she hoped he would become a doctor. "I don't want to dissuade him, but I was pulling for a doctor," Salas said in 2018. "He's been arguing with us since he could talk—practicing his advocacy skills." She was also teaching him a phrase her mother taught her, "Tu no eres mejor que nadie, pero nadie es mejor que tu," which means that you are better than no one and no one is better than you. "It also means, in the end, you have to be respected too," Salas said.
Anderl shares a practice with David Oakley, and they specialize in state and federal criminal defense and juvenile and municipal court cases, according to their website. Anderl worked in the Essex County Prosecutor's Office as an Assistant Prosecutor from 1986 to 1996.