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NJ federal judge, family 'holding up' after attack that killed son, wounded husband

Written by on July 21, 2020

The family of a federal court judge whose New Jersey home was targeted in an ambush that killed her son and wounded her husband is “holding up very nicely” in the wake of Sunday night’s tragedy, a relative told Fox News.

Criminal defense attorney Mark Anderl, who is married to U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, was hospitalized as of Tuesday morning after Sunday evening’s attack at their North Brunswick home.

Anderl is “feeling good,” Carlos Salas said during a brief phone call Tuesday. “He’s doing very, very well.”

FBI PROBING WHETHER SUSPECT OF SHOOTING AT NJ JUDGE’S HOME IS TIED TO KILLING OF CALIFORNIA LAWYER

Judge Salas was reportedly in the basement when a gunman posing as a FedEx driver approached the house and began shooting. The couple’s 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, was fatally wounded, said Salas’ brother, Carlos.

North Brunswick Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack told NJ.com Mark Anderl needed surgery shortly after the attack and was stable.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas; Mark Anderl (ANDERL & OAKLEY, PC)

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas; Mark Anderl (ANDERL & OAKLEY, PC)

The FBI in Newark later identified Roy Den Hollander as investigators’ “primary suspect.”

Den Hollander had a gender-equity lawsuit, filed in 2015, that was being heard by Salas. It involved a young woman who wanted to register for the military draft. He also mentioned the judge in writings posted online, deriding her as a ladder-climber who traded on her Hispanic heritage to get ahead.

He was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the town of Rockland in New York’s Sullivan County, law enforcement officials said.

A package addressed to Salas was found along with the lawyer’s body, the officials said.

LAWYER FOUND DEAD IN UPSTATE NY MAY BE LINKED TO NEW JERSEY SHOOTING AT JUDGE’S HOUSE

Also among Den Hollander’s belongings was information about New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, state court spokesperson Lucian Chalfen confirmed to Fox News.

“We were notified by the FBI yesterday afternoon regarding information about the Chief Judge that was found in the suspect’s personal effects,” Chalfen said Tuesday in an email.

The information included her photograph, her name and the address for the Court of Appeals in Albany, Chalfen said.

When asked if DiFiore had a professional relationship with Den Hollander, Chalfen said, “None that we are aware of.” He provided the same answer when asked if she had presided over any cases involving Den Hollander.

Chalfen had no knowledge of any attempts by Den Hollander to contact DiFiore.

LAWYER SUSPECTED IN KILLING OF NJ FEDERAL JUDGE’S SON MAY HAVE BEEN SEEKING ENEMIES AFTER DIAGNOSIS: REPORT

Federal investigators are examining whether Den Hollander is also responsible for killing a fellow men’s rights lawyer in California.

In more than 2,000 pages of often misogynistic, racist writings, Den Hollander criticized Salas’ life story of being abandoned by her father and raised by her poor mother as “the usual effort to blame a man and turn someone into super girl.”

In another section — part of a collection posted online similar to a draft of a memoir — he wrote about being treated recently for cancer, and wanting to use the rest of his time to “wrap up his affairs.”

“No more chances now, if there ever really were any, for glory and fortune, but maybe a little old time justice as in all those 1950s television westerns I watched as a kid when the lone cowboy refused to give up without a fight,” he wrote. “The only problem with a life lived too long under Feminazi rule is that a man ends up with so many enemies he can’t even the score with all of them. But law school and the media taught me how to prioritize.”

Salas, who was seated in Newark, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011. She had served as a U.S. magistrate in New Jersey, after working as an assistant public defender for several years.

Daniel Anderl (Saint Joseph High School)

Daniel Anderl (Saint Joseph High School)

WHO IS NEW JERSEY FEDERAL JUDGE ESTHER SALAS?

She was the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a U.S. district judge in New Jersey.

Daniel Anderl was heading back shortly to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was on the Dean’s List this spring.

“I was shocked last night to hear news of Daniel Anderl’s tragic death Sunday evening in New Jersey. Daniel was a rising junior, enrolled for classes beginning in the next few weeks,” university President John Garvey wrote on Twitter. “He turned 20 last week.”

Several college friends spent the weekend visiting Daniel for his birthday, leaving just hours before the shooting, neighbor Marion Costanza said.

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He previously attended St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J., and was remembered as “a true friend, a proud Falcon, and an overall wonderful human being,” according to a statement on the school’s website.

“It is with the utmost sadness that we inform you that Dan Anderl ’18 was taken from us last night,” the statement reads. “He will be truly missed. We pray for Dan’s family and friends during this unbelievably difficult time – please know, we are mourning with you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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