Federal Judge Esther Salas has spoken out on last month's shooting that killed her son and injured her husband, in a tearful video released Monday morning (scroll down to watch).
Salas and her son, Daniel, 20, were chatting and cleaning up after a weekend of birthday celebrations for him at their North Brunswick home on Sunday, July 19.
Daniel turned to his mom and said, "'Mom, let's keep talking 'I love talking to you, Mom,'" the judge recounted.
That moment, the doorbell rang. Daniel looked at his mom and said, "Who is that?"
Before Salas could say anything, he sprinted upstairs.
That's when Salas heard gunshots and someone screaming "No!"
"I later learned that this monster, who had a FedEx package in his hand, opened fire, but Daniel being Daniel, protected his father [Mark Anderl, 63] and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest," Salas said in a tearful video.
"The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another. Mark was shot three times: One bullet entered his right chest, the other his left abdomen, and the last one in the right forearm."
The shooter -- men's activist lawyer Roy Den Hollander -- was found dead the following day with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Sullivan County town of Rockland in New York State.
"While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries, we are living every parent’s worst nightmare," said Salas, "making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel.
"My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain. We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down."
Salas went on to call for action to address the lack of privacy afforded to federal judges.
"I know this is a complicated issue, and I don’t pretend to know or have all answers, but together we can find a way. Let’s commence a national dialogue, let’s work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges.
"As federal judges, we understand that our decisions will be scrutinized, and some may disagree strongly with our rulings. We know that our job requires us to make tough calls, and sometimes those calls can leave people angry and upset.
"That comes with the territory and we accept that."
In Salas' case, Hollander -- who she calls "her monster" -- knew exactly where she lived, which church she attended and had a complete dossier on her and her family.
"At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it," Salas said, "and that is unacceptable."
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