“That monster had a FedEx package in his hand and opened fire. Daniel, being Daniel, protected his father, ”relates Judge Esther Salas in a video message released this Monday, just over two weeks after a misogynist lawyer will attack his family at his New Jersey home.
Her 20-year-old son was shot to the chest and her husband, Mark Anderl, was seriously injured. The killer, identified by the FBI as Roy Den Hollander, was found dead hours later in New York. He was known for his macho ideas, and was allegedly angered by a judge’s ruling.
“While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries, we are living the worst nightmare of any father, making preparations to bury our only son,” says Salas tearfully.
In the nine-minute recording, the judge calls for more to be done to protect the judges and their families: “The death of my son cannot be in vain.”
“Now more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private,” he adds, “so I beg those in power to do something to my sisters and brothers on the bench.” “It is a matter of life and death,” she pleads.
“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew her changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” said the judge in her statement in which she cannot hold back tears. “A madman, who I think was attacking me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house,” he recalls.
“Our family had just finished a weekend celebration in honor of our son Daniel Mark’s 20th birthday. Daniel always wanted to spend his birthdays with his father and me, so he asked us to organize a party for some of his friends from the Catholic University of America ”, where the young man was studying.
“Because the pandemicHer father, Mark and I had some concerns; However, we thought that we could comply with the security measures and agreed to allow her friends to come to spend the weekend. The weekend was glorious. It was full of love, laughter and smiles. As Daniel’s last friend left on Sunday, we decided to give Daniel a break and when Mark and I returned from the church, Daniel was sleeping upstairs and we decided to get some rest, ”explains the judge in the video.
“As the afternoon wore on, it was time to clean up after the birthday party. Daniel and I went down to the basement and chatted, as always. And Daniel said to me, ‘Mom, let’s keep talking, I love talking to you, mom.’ It was at that precise moment when the doorbell rang and Daniel looked at me and said: ‘Who is that?’ And before he could say a word, he ran upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone yelling, ‘No!’
After the deadly attack, Police discovered Hollander was aiming to attack other judges.
In her video, Salas also thanks the first responders, the police, and the medical workers who helped her family. “The outpouring of love has been overwhelming,” he acknowledges. “And I can tell you that it has lifted us up during our darkest hours.”