A man reportedly wearing a FedEx uniform shot and killed the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas at her home in New Jersey on Sunday night and also shot her husband at the same location.
“The gunman showed up to Salas’s home in North Brunswick, N.J., wearing an outfit described to police as a FedEx uniform, law enforcement said,” The Washington Post reported. “Both Mark Anderl, 63, a defense attorney and former Essex County assistant prosecutor, and Daniel Anderl, 20, a student at Catholic University in D.C., were shot after one of them opened the door for the gunman around 5 p.m.”
Salas was home during the attack but was not injured as she was in the basement, according to a judiciary official who spoke anonymously to the AP.
As reported by The New York Times, last week Judge Salas “was assigned to a class-action lawsuit a group of investors filed against Deutsche Bank, contending that the firm failed to flag questionable transactions that were made from the account of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died last August while in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.”
Newsweek, CNN, and other publications also noted that Salas was assigned to the Deutsche Bank case involving Epstein last week, though no clear link has been established between the case and the attack.
“This month, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $150m fine for compliance failures in its dealings with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, as well as Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Back,” The Financial Times reported. “A few days later, plaintiffs led by Ali Karimi filed the lawsuit that is being overseen by Judge Salas.”
The U.S. Marshals and the FBI have already launched an investigation into the attack.
“The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Ester Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this evening, July 19,” the FBI said in a statement. “We’re looking for one subject & ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call us at 1-973-792-3001.”
“Federal agents and police officers went door to door on Sunday night interviewing neighbors,” The New York Times Times added. “Police tape blocked off the front lawn and driveway of the family’s colonial home. A North Brunswick police cruiser was parked outside the house, and two police officers stood sentinel outside the front door. An American flag was planted in the ground, illuminated by a floodlight.”
One of Salas’ neighbors, Marion Costanza, told NYT that Salas was reportedly worried that being a public figure could make her a target.
“She had some high-profile cases, and she was always a little concerned,” Costanza said, later adding praise for the family, “There’s no one like them. They’re extremely good-natured. They would do anything for anyone.”
“Federal court records show that Salas has presided over several high-profiles cases, including the financial fraud case of Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice,” CNN reported. “She also handled the 2018 sentencing of Farad Roland, who was found guilty of federal racketeering charges and sentenced to 45 years in prison by Salas. Roland was the leader of the South Side Cartel, ‘one of Newark’s most violent street gangs,’ a press release from the US Justice Department said.”