Son of New Jersey federal judge killed, husband critical after being shot at home

The son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was killed Sunday and her husband was in critical condition after they were shot at their home in New Jersey, senior law enforcement officials told NBC New York.

The shooting occurred in North Brunswick Township early in the evening, the FBI said in a statement, adding that it was searching for one suspect.

NBC New York reported that Salas’ husband, criminal defense lawyer Mark Anderl, answered the door and is believed to have been shot multiple times. Their 20-year-old son was also shot when he came running to the door, the station reported.

U.S. Chief District Judge Freda Wolfson identified their son as Daniel, the Associated Press reported. Citing an unnamed judiciary official, the AP reported that the shooter was dressed as a delivery driver.

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Salas is believed to have been in the basement at the time at the time of the shooting, NBC New York reported.

Salas, a former federal public defender who was nominated by President Barack Obama in January 2011 and confirmed that June, is a judge in U.S. District Court in Newark.

In a statement Sunday, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said that he knows Salas and her husband well and that he was proud to have recommended her nomination to Obama.

“My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” he said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the shooting should serve as a reminder that gun violence is still a crisis and “that our work to make every community safer isn’t done.”

Salas presided over the trial of former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice and other high-profile cases.

More recently, Salas was appointed to preside over a lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors, the Associated Press reported. The plaintiffs claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and didn’t monitor accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Earlier this month, New York regulators fined the bank $150 million for its “significant compliance failures.”

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.

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