NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS/AP) – A federal judge in New Jersey is making an emotional plea after her son was shot dead and her husband seriously wounded by a man who targeted her home. In a video statement issued Monday, Judge Esther Salas called for more privacy for federal judges in the wake of the July 19 attack at her home in New Brunswick.
“And 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,” Salas said.
In a nine-minute long video statement, federal Judge Esther Salas speaks for the first time on the day that changed her life forever. She says she and her son were talking in the basement of their home when the doorbell rang.
“And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, No!,” Salas said.
She says what she heard was Roy Den Hollander, dressed as a FedEx driver, shooting and killing her son Daniel and seriously injuring her husband, Mark. He is still recovering in the hospital.
Den Hollander, 72, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Upstate New York on July 20, the day after the ambush.
He was a lawyer and investigators say he had a list of what they’re calling potential targets, that included other judges.
Salas is now calling on changes to federal law to protect judges and their families by not making their addresses public record.
“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,” Salas said.
She noted that serving as judge involves “making tough calls” that sometimes leave people angry and upset. But she said judges should not have to “live in fear for our lives” because personal information, such as home addresses, can be easily obtained by anyone seeking to them or their families harm.
Authorities have said Roy Den Hollander, a men’s rights lawyer, posed as a FedEx delivery person and fatally shot 20-year-old Daniel Anderl and wounded his 63-year-old father, Mark Anderl.
Salas, who was in another part of the home at the time and was not injured, referred to Den Hollander as “a madman” in her statement.
“Daniel being Daniel, protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest,” Salas said in the video. “The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another.”
Mark Anderl was shot three times. He was hit in the right chest, left abdomen and right forearm, and has undergone several surgeries.
Authorities believe Hollander also shot and killed a fellow attorney in California in the days before the attack at Salas’ home.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.