Judge Salas says her son died trying to protect father

Judge Salas opens up about the day her son was shot and killed

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas has released a video statement describing the day Den Hollander killed her son and seriously injured her husband in their home on July 19.

The nine minute video describes the events leading up to the shooting, including 20-year-old Daniel Anderl’s birthday party that happened just before Hollander shot and killed him.

Salas said that she had been cleaning with her son following the party and was talking with him.

Content Continues Below
But as the afternoon progressed it was time to clean up from the weekend festivities. Daniel and I went downstairs to the basement and we were chatting, as we always do and Daniel said, ‘Mom, let’s keep talking. I love talking to you, Mom.’ And it was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang and Daniel looked at me and said, ‘Who is that?’ And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming ‘No!'
Video statement from U.S. District Judge Esther Salas

“Daniel being Daniel, protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest. The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another,” Salas said in the video.

Her husband, Mark Anderl was shot three times and remains hospitalized. He was hit in the right chest, left abdomen and right forearm, and has undergone several surgeries.

Hollander was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day after the ambush.

Salas pivoted in the video calling for more privacy and protections for people in her field in the face of mounting cyberthreats. She noted that serving as a judge involves “making tough calls” that sometimes leave people angry and upset. But she said judges should not have to “live in fear for our lives” because personal information, such as home addresses, can be easily obtained by anyone seeking to cause them or their families harm.

“There are companies that will sell your personal details that can be leveraged for nefarious purposes,” Salas said in the video. “In my case, the monster knew where I lived and what church we attended, and had a complete dossier on me and my family. At the moment, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable.”

Authorities believe Hollander also shot and killed a fellow attorney in California in the days before the attack at Salas’ home.

Hollander had a document with information about a dozen female judges from across the country — half, including Salas, Latina — with him when he was found dead, two people with knowledge of the investigation told the AP. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

The U.S. Marshals Service says threats against federal judges are increasing, and number some 4,400 a year, although physical attacks remain rare. The U.S. Marshals Service protects the nation’s approximately 2,700 federal judges.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

A gunman posing as a delivery person shot and killed Salas' 20-year-old son and wounded her husband at their New Jersey home.
A gunman posing as a delivery person shot and killed Salas' 20-year-old son and wounded her husband at their New Jersey home. (Mark Lennihan/AP)