In a heartbreaking new video, Judge Esther Salas has broken her silence on her son Daniel's tragic shooting death. In the nine-minute clip, Salas begins by saying, "Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same. A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house."
She then went on to recount the moment leading up to the attack on her family by Roy Den Hollander. "Daniel and I went downstairs to the basement and we were chatting, as we always do. And Daniel said 'Mom, let’s keep talking, I love talking to you, Mom.' It was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang," she recalled, "and Daniel looked at me and said, "Who is that?' And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, 'No!'" Daniel, who had just celebrated his 20th birthday, was struck by one of Hollander's bullets. Salas' husband was also stuck, being hit by three bullets. He was critically wounded in the violent attack, but Daniel was killed.
"We are living every parent’s worst nightmare... making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel," Salas said. "My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure." Salas later added, "In my case, this monster knew where I lived and what church we attended and had a complete dossier on me and my family. At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable."
Salas continued: "My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench. Now, more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private. I know this is a complicated issue, and I don’t pretend to know or have all answers, but together we can find a way. Let’s commence a national dialogue, let’s work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges."
At the end of the video, Salas said, "To everyone who reached out, and to everyone who said a prayer, and to everyone who is keeping my family in your thoughts -- thank you. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming and I can tell you it has lifted us during our darkest hours. I just want to say thank you to you all and I love you."