“Sunday Night in America” host Trey Gowdy devoted this week’s opening monologue to the New Jersey federal court judge whose son was fatally shot at home by an attorney last year, spotlighting an initiative to protect the personal information of the U.S. judiciary and their families.
New Jersey-based U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, 51, had been with her 20-year-old son, Daniel Mark Anderl, in the basement of their North Brunswick home on the evening of July 19 2020 when the doorbell rang. Moments later, she heard “a series of bullets,” she said in an interview at the time. A lawyer posing as a delivery driver rang the doorbell carrying a FedEx package, police said. He fled from the area after opening fire. Daniel was shot one time in the chest, but could not be saved. Her husband Anderl, who was also hit, has since undergone multiple surgeries.
“Murder is the one crime from which there can be no recovery,” an emotional Gowdy said. “Someone’s life has been taken, and for those who knew and loved that victim, it is a life sentence of grief, unrelenting grief. And no one is immune. Murder does not discriminate.”
Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” reportedly had a “complete dossier” on Salas and her family, including where they lived and even where they went to church, she previously revealed.
“This was not a random act of violence. It was not a burglary gone wrong. It was not a case of mistaken identity,” Gowdy said. “This lawyer, targeted judge Salas because she is a judge. In particular, because she is a female, Latina judge. A 20-year-old is dead, because he answered the door at his home. A 20-year-old is dead because his mother is a federal judge.”
“Being a judge is difficult,” he added. ” It’s grueling, you make hard decisions based on the law and the evidence. The job description does not include being the grieving parent of a murdered son.”
The attack, Gowdy said, represents more than a personal vendetta by a disturbed individual.
“It was an attack on her, on her husband and an attack on her son. But it was also an attack on you, and your justice system,” Gowdy told viewers.
“How did this lawyer get the home address for a federal judge?” he demanded. “We know the courthouse and the courtrooms of judges are protected. But what about the front porches of their homes? What about their spouses and their children. What are we doing to make sure people are not targeted simply for doing their job?”