Federal authorities are investigating whether a lawyer found dead in a car in New York Monday morning is the gunman who shot and killed the 20-year-old son of a federal judge on Sunday.
A municipal employee found the lawyer’s body in a car near Liberty, New York, about two hours from Judge Esther Salas’s New Jersey home where the shooting took place. Salas was in the basement at the time of the shooting and was unharmed, but her husband was injured.
Local news reported that Salas’s husband, Mark Anderl, a criminal defense attorney, opened the door Sunday evening for the perpetrator, who was dressed as a FedEx delivery man. Anderl was shot multiple times but was in stable condition after undergoing surgery. Their son, Daniel, was shot in the heart and died.
A FedEx package addressed to Salas was found in the car with the lawyer’s body. Authorities are investigating whether a gun found at the scene in New York matches the weapon used against Salas’s husband and son.
“There’s a pretty good level of confidence he’s the guy,” a law enforcement official told The New York Times.
ABC News reported that the suspect worked a case before Salas in 2015. Authorities believe the suspect was working alone.
The FBI is leading an investigation into the shooting. The New Jersey State Police, the North Brunswick Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office are also involved. Authorities have not disclosed any motives.
The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Ester Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this evening, July 19. We're looking for one subject & ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call us at 1-973-792-3001.— FBI Newark (@FBINewark) July 20, 2020
Salas has been a federal judge seated in Newark, New Jersey, since she was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011. She is the first Latina to serve as a federal judge in that state.
Recently, she has presided over a lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors questioning the company’s anti-money laundering policies and its monitoring of high-risk clients, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Salas is now under 24-hour protection. The U.S. Marshals Service, a federal law enforcement agency that protects judges, was called to provide her with a security detail, according to ABC News.