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Judge’s son killed and her husband wounded in shooting at New Jersey home

A gunman killed the 20-year-old son of a federal judge as he answered the door of the family home Sunday in New Jersey and wounded the judge’s husband, according to judiciary officials.

The shootings occurred at the North Brunswick home of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, and killed her son, Daniel, Chief District Judge Freda Wolfson told the Associated Press. Her husband, defense lawyer Mark Anderl, was injured, Wolfson said.

Salas was in the basement at the time and wasn’t injured, according to a judiciary official who wasn’t authorized to comment and spoke anonymously to the AP.

The perpetrator, believed to be a lone gunman posing as a FedEx delivery person, was not in custody, the official said. The FBI tweeted Sunday night that it’s looking for one suspect in the shootings.

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Daniel Anderl, a college student, was the judge’s only child, the official said.

Salas, seated in Newark, N.J., was nominated by President Obama and confirmed in 2011. Before that she served as a U.S. magistrate judge in New Jersey and was an assistant public defender for several years.

Her highest-profile case in recent years was the financial fraud case involvingreality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice, whom Salas sentenced to prison for crimes including bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. Salas staggered the couple’s sentences so that one of them could be available to take care of their four children.

In 2017, she barred federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against an alleged gang leader charged in several Newark slayings, ruling that the man’s intellectual disability made him ineligible for capital punishment. Salas sentenced the man to 45 years in prison.

More recently, Salas has presided over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money-laundering policies and failed to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who backed Salas’ nomination to the federal bench, said in a statement Sunday night, “My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”

In an emailed statement, Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the shooting “a senseless act” and said “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.”


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