A quiet summer evening turned deadly on Sunday in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
A gunman disgused as a FedEx delivery driver went to the home of federal District Court Esther Salas and opened fire, killing her 20-year-old son and critically wounding her husband, the Daily Mail reported.
Just days prior, Judge Salas had been assigned a case brought by investors in Deutsche Bank in which it was alleged, among other things, that the bank did not sufficiently monitor “high-risk” customers, with late billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein among them, as Newsweek reported.
Judge Salas’ son, Daniel Anderl, was mortally wouded when he opened his family’s front door to greet the visitor. His father, Mark Anderl, was standing behind him at the time, and was also hit by gunfire.
Mark Anderl is reported to be in critical, but stable condition, according to NPR. Judge Salas herself was in another part of the house during the incident and was not injured.
On Monday, authorities were attempting to determine whether an attorney who was found dead in Sullivan County, New York of a self-inflicted gunshot was linked to the shooting at Judge Salas’ home, according to Forbes.
No specific threats had recently been made against Judge Salas, although she has made some powerful enemies and presided in several high-profile matters during her tenure on the bench.
In 2018 she sentenced Farad Roland, the leader of Newark, New Jersey’s most notorious street gang, to 45 years in prison.
She also oversaw the 2013 mortgage and bank fraud trial of Teresa Guidice, of Real Housewives of New Jersey television fame, providing the judge with an additional bit of notoriety.
Judge Salas’ assignment to the Epstein-linked Deutsche Bank case was just the latest headline-grabbing matter in which she was involved, and while the litigation’s connection to the disgraced financier may be tenuous, it, combined with the shocking nature of this attack has certainly raised eyebrows.
Hopefully, law enforcement authorities will be able to piece together precisely what led to this tragedy, and Judge Salas will receive the answers she and her family deserve.
Meanwhile, we can only pray that the judge’s husband makes a swift and full recovery, and justice is ultimately served.