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Esther Salas: Son of federal judge killed after gunman opened fire at her home

CNN logo CNN 7/20/2020 By Evan Perez, Amir Vera and Mark Morales, CNN
a close up of Esther Salas: US Marshals and FBI are investigating shooting at the home of US District Court of New Jersey Judge Esther Salas. © Rutgers University US Marshals and FBI are investigating shooting at the home of US District Court of New Jersey Judge Esther Salas.

The son of US District Court of New Jersey Judge Esther Salas has died after a gunman opened fire on her home Sunday, the top judge at the federal courthouse confirmed to CNN.

Chief Judge Freda Wolfson told CNN late Sunday that Salas' son Daniel Anderl, 20, was killed in the shooting and her husband, Mark Anderl, was injured. Salas was unharmed, Wolfson said.

Both the US Marshals and FBI are investigating the shooting. Initial reports from law enforcement said Daniel Anderl opened the door with his father right behind him. The door opened to a hail of gunfire and the gunman fled, a law enforcement source told CNN.

"We are looking for one subject," the FBI said in a statement. "We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available."

The gunman appeared to be wearing a FedEx uniform, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

It is not yet known whether the gunman was a FedEx employee or someone posing to be an employee.

"We are aware of the media reports and are fully cooperating with investigating authorities," Jonathan Lyons, a spokesman for FedEx, said in an email statement.

Law enforcement has not been aware of any threats against the judge, the source told CNN. Right now investigators don't know the motive.

"Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. "This tragedy is our latest reminder that gun violence remains a crisis in our country and that our work to make every community safer isn't done."

Democratic US Sen. Bob Menendez, who said he was proud to have recommended Judge Salas to former President Barack Obama, also issued a statement sending his prayers to the family.

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

The FBI urged anyone with relevant information to call FBI Newark at 973-792-3001.

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