Judge Esther Salas has opened up about the targeted shooting at her New Jersey home last month that left her son dead and her husband in critical condition.
In a video posted to Youtube Monday, the U.S. District Court judge described the moment before the man disguised as a FedEx driver rang her doorbell and opened fire when her son Daniel, 20, opened the door.
“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.’ 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!'”
Salas said she learned that her son protected his father from the gunfire and was hit in the chest with the first bullet. Her husband was shot three times and is still recovering.
“While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries, we are living every parent’s worst nightmare – making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel,” she said.
Salas is now calling for greater privacy protection for judges, as it’s believed she was the shooter’s intended target.
The same man, who is a known misogynist, is also suspected of killing a men’s rights activist in California the week before.
The gunman was later found dead in his car of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain. We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”
“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,” she said. “My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”