North Brunswick, NJ – The son of a federal judge was fatally shot and her husband was wounded during an attack at their home on Sunday evening.
The incident began at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, when a person dressed as a FedEx driver showed up at the front door of New Jersey U.S. District Judge Esther Salas’ home, KABC reported.
Her son, 20-year-old Catholic University freshman Daniel Anderl, was immediately shot when he opened the door, The Washington Post reported.
“He was shot through the heart,” Francis “Mac” Womack told ABC News.
The judge’s husband, 63-year-old defense attorney Mark Anderl, suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the incident, KABC reported.
Salas, 51, was home at the time of the attack, but was not injured, Womack told KABC.
The gunman fled the scene and remains at large, according to police.
Daniel Anderl, the couple’s only child, died of his wounds, NJ Advance Media reported.
Mark Anderl was rushed the hospital for emergency surgery, and was listed in stable condition following the procedure, Womack told NJ Advance Media.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is leading the ongoing investigation into the attack, KABC reported.
“We are looking for one subject and ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information please call,” the FBI said in a statement on Sunday night.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the North Brunswick Police Department, and the New Jersey State Police are also assisting in the investigation, according to ABC News.
Investigators are working to determine who the gunman’s intended target was, KABC reported.
FedEx spokesperson Jim Masilak said the company is aware of the attack and that they “are fully cooperating with investigating authorities,” ABC News reported.
Salas, who was nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2010 and is the first Hispanic female to serve as a federal judge in New Jersey, has received threats in the past, Womack told ABC News.
“As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any,” the mayor said.
Salas oversaw cases involving members of the Grape Street Crips after the FBI took down a massive drug-trafficking ring in 2015, NJ Advance Media reported.
In 2014, she sentenced “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa and Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice to federal prison after they were convicted on fraud charges, according to The New York Times.
Approximately one week ago, Salas was assigned a class-action lawsuit case against Deutsche Bank, which was filed by a group of investors, according to the paper.
The petitioners alleged that the bank failed to flag potentially suspicious transactions that were made on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s account prior to his death.
Correctional officers found the 66-year-old Tier 3 sex offender hanging in his cell at around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2019 according to ABC News.
The billionaire had been jailed while facing charges for sexually abusing and trafficking children.
Mark Anderl worked as an Essex County assistant prosecutor prior to going into private practice as a criminal defense attorney, NJ Advance Media reported.
Daniel Anderl intended to follow in his parents’ footsteps, his friend, Joe Mauro, told NJ Advance Media.
“He was planning on going to law school,” Mauro said. “He had his whole future ahead.”
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said he knows Salas’ family well, ABC News reported.
“My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” Menendez said.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the attack was a “senseless” tragedy, and that Salas and her family are in his thoughts, NJ Advance Media reported.
“This tragedy is our latest reminder that gun violence remains a crisis in our country and that our work to make every community safer isn’t done,” Murphy said.