Judge Esther Salas has finally broken her silence following the shooting at her New Jersey residence, leaving her 20-year-old son dead and husband in critical condition. She pleaded for ways to keep the federal judges and their family safe and secure.
She called for greater privacy protections as she prepares to bury her 20-year-old son.
In a powerful video statement, addressing the murder of her son by a disgruntled attorney, Esther pleaded for greater protection for the privacy of jurists after the brutal incident in her family.
In her statement, Judge Salas recalled the beautiful days with her then collegiate son Daniel and her husband Mark Anderl before Daniel got killed last month by a lawyer who appeared in their house disguised as a FedEx driver.
The accused attorney Roy Den Hollander who previously argued at least one case before Salas also shot Mark several times, leaving him in serious condition as reported by the authority.
She recalled that evening after coming home celebrating Daniel’s birthday, she and her son were chatting downstairs when there was a knock on the door and Daniel went upstairs to check.
The gunman shot Daniel directly at his heart and also shot Mark three times.
The judge, chocking up with tear, said, “While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from his multiple surgeries, we are living every parent’s worst nightmare – making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel. My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure, I’m here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain.”
She continued, “We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again. But we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”
Judge Salas requested in the video for greater privacy for jurists, explaining how Hollander gathers almost every information on her family, including their address and some personal information such as where they attend church, etc.
“Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, ‘No!’” Salas said, and her voice was shaking and seemingly struggling to hold back her tears.
Salas said her son was shot at the chest to protect his father.
“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,” Salas said in her video, adding, “This is a matter of life and death.”
According to NPR, the law enforcement officer believes that Hollander targeted Salas because of dragging a case she was assigned with. The delay was challenging the constitutionality of a male-only military draft.
Hollander is also believed to have shot and killed a rival’s Men’s right lawyer in San Bernardino, California, just before driving to Salas’s address in New Jersey.
“Let’s commence a national dialogue. Let’s work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges,” she said.
Just a day after killing Daniel, Hollander committed suicide. According to a report in Daily Mail, Hollander was diagnosed with Terminal Melanoma, and had a list of at least 12 other targets in his car.”
The report also stated that Salas never ruled over against Hollander but, “He complained in online ramblings that she dragged her heels in making a decision in the case he was fighting for which involved expanding the military draft to enlist women as well as men.”