A U.S. district judge is calling for the privacy of judges be protected, two weeks after her son was fatally shot and her husband wounded by an irate anti-feminist lawyer.
In an emotional video, Judge Esther Salas described how she and her son, Daniel Anderl, a Catholic University student who was home to celebrate his 20th birthday, were talking in the basement of their North Brunswick, NJ, home when the doorbell rang on July 19th. Daniel went to answer the door, she said, "Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, 'No!'"
Salas said that her son "protected his father," Mark Anderl. "And he took the shooter's first bullet directly to the chest. The monster then turns his attention to my husband. And began to shoot at my husband."
Daniel Anderl died at a nearby hospital, while his father was critically wounded and has undergone a number of surgeries.
The gunman had been wearing a FedEx uniform, and they soon found the suspect, Roy Den Hollander -- a self-proclaimed "anti-feminist" lawyer who filed lawsuits against ladies' nights at bars -- dead near the side of the road in Rockland, NY from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had ranted about Salas and other judges, and authorities said that he had a photograph of New York's Chief Judge, Janet DiFiore, in his possession, as well as a list of other judges.
The FBI later linked him to the fatal shooting of a rival men's rights lawyer, Marc Angelucci; it's believed that Den Hollander took a train to California to shoot Angelucci, who was killed in July by someone in a FedEx uniform.
According to the NY Times, Den Hollander "was apparently angry at Judge Salas for not moving quickly enough on a lawsuit he had brought challenging the constitutionality of the male-only draft." He also allegedly harbored a grudge against Angelucci because Angelucci won his male-only draft case in California.
Den Hollander also had extensive archives of online writing, which detail his vitriol against women, women of color, and immigrants.
Federal judges have been facing a rising number of threats, and on the video, Salas said, "My son's death cannot be in vain. Which is why I'm begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench."
While acknowledging that their decisions will not always be popular, she emphasized, "[W]e cannot accept is when we are forced to live in fear for our lives because personal information, like our home addresses, can be easily obtained by anyone seeking to do us or our families harm... Now more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private. This is a matter of life and death."