NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A federal judge is making a plea for stricter privacy regulations.
She’s speaking out for the first time since her son was killed in a shooting at her New Jersey home.
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports, there are now calls for stricter privacy.
“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant. My family will never be the same,” Judge Esther Salas says in a video statement.
Judge Salas – a wife and mother – released a nine minute, emotional video describing the last moments she had with her son Daniel Anderl. They had just finished celebrating his 20th birthday at their home in New Brunswick on July 19th when her life turned into a nightmare.
“Daniel said ‘Mom, lets keep talking. I love talking to you, mom.’ And it was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang and Daniel looked at me and said ‘Who is that?’ Before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming ‘No!'” she says in the video.
Watch: Statement By Judge Esther Salas On Deadly Attack On Her Family
Police believe 72-year-old Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer, was targeting Salas, who in the past he called a “lazy, incompetent Latina.”
He showed up at her front door pretending to be a FedEx driver and opened fire.
“I later learned this monster, who had a FedEx package in his hands, opened fire, but Daniel being Daniel protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly his chest. The shooter then turns his attention to my husband, one shot after another,” Judge Salas says in the video.
Her husband Mark Anderl was shot three times, including to his chest, and is still recovering in the hospital.
Hollander was later found dead by suicide. It was discovered he was behind the killing of another lawyer in California. Authorities believe he planned to target several other people, including at least one other judge.
“If a federal judge has to worry his or her decisions, at the end of the day, could cause the loss of a life of a loved one, than I’m not sure how that full independence, even when works hard to maintain it, can ever be achieved,” Menendez said.
They released this joint statement:
What happened to Judge Esther Salas and her family is a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. No judge should ever feel unsafe or threatened because they have answered the call of public service to uphold justice. In recent days, we have expressed our commitment to Judge Salas and her family to take action to find a solution to safeguard federal judges.
To that end, we are working together on legislation to better protect against potential threats to federal judges and their families.
The tragedy experienced by the Anderl-Salas family should give us the sense of urgency to act to protect all federal judges. There’s no time to waste.
But attorney Brian Wagner says privacy will be difficult to accomplish.
“You could make your cell phone a private account, but in the end if someone really wants to find out your home address or your personal information, they are going to,” Wagner said.
He emphasizes with Salas. His own life was threatened when he was a senior prosecutor in Brooklyn. He says unfortunately the job comes with an element of danger.
But Salas is undeterred.
“I am begging those who are in power to do something. For my family, the threat was real and the free flow of information from the internet allowed this sick and depraved human being to find all our personal information and target us,” Judge Salas says in the video.
So her son’s death is not in vain.