The federal judge whose son was killed by a misogynistic lawyer released her first statement about the shooting Monday, describing the horror that unfolded as her 20-year-old only child ran to answer the door and a “madman” opened fire.
The judge, Esther Salas, also issued a call for increased privacy protections for federal judges, saying the death of her son, Daniel, should not be in vain. Her husband, Mark Anderl, who was shot three times, remains hospitalized.
“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” Salas said in her video statement. “A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house.”
She described a weekend celebration at their New Jersey home for Daniel’s 20th birthday that included several of his friends from Catholic University of America.
“The weekend was a glorious one,” Salas added, choking back tears. “It was filled with love, laughter, and smiles.”
She and her son were in the basement talking when the doorbell rang July 19.
“And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, ‘No!’”
Daniel’s final act, she said, was to protect his father from the man she described as a monster.
“He took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest,” she said. “The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another.”
Salas said the man, believed to have been Roy Den Hollander, who later killed himself, was carrying a FedEx package — an apparent ruse to coax the family to open the door.
She said Den Hollander had compiled a dossier on her and her family, including their address in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and the church they attended.
Days before, Den Hollander, 72, had traveled by train to San Bernardino County, California, where he shot and killed a rival men’s rights lawyer, Marc E. Angelucci, at his home, authorities said.
Police found Den Hollander’s body off a road in upstate New York with a single gunshot to the head.
Den Hollander was a self-described “anti-feminist” with a record of virulently misogynistic and hateful writing.
He was apparently angry at Salas for not moving quickly enough on a lawsuit he had brought challenging the constitutionality of the male-only draft.
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