Federal judge’s son shot and murdered, husband hurt in the attack at their NJ home

Judge Esther Salas, who works on the federal bench in New Jersey, was not injured.

The son of a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, has been shot and murdered, and her husband shot and hurt in an attack at the family’s home, according to law enforcement sources.

The judge, Esther Salas, was not hurt.

Francis “Mac” Womack, the mayor of North Brunswick, New Jersey, tells News channels that the judge’s son has died.

Police respond to reports of a shooting at the home of federal Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, July 19, 2020.

The condition of the husband was not instantly known, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone told News channels.

The judge’s son opened the entrance to the family’s North Brunswick house at about 5 p.m. Sunday and was immediately shot, specialists said.

“He was shot within the heart,” Womack said. The son was a learner at Catholic University.

The judge’s husband was then shot many times, according to experts.

A suspect “remains at-large,” a law enforcing official said.

Investigators have introductory information that the shootings were taken out by someone costumed as a FedEx driver, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

The mayor said investigators are now “trying to get a strong make on the vehicle” to try and track the defendant.

“As a judge, she had menaces from time to time, but everyone is assuming that newly there had not been any,” said Womack, who is personal friends with the judge and her partner.

In a statement, the FBI Newark office said, “The FBI is reviewing a shooting that occurred at the place of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this nightfall, July 19. We are looking for one question and ask that anyone who believes they may have relevant knowledge please call FBI Newark at 973-792-3001. We are operating closely with our state and local allies and will provide additional updates when possible.”

The New Jersey State Police, the North Brunswick Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office are also involved in the examination. The U.S. Marshals have been called to produce the judge with a safety detail, according to a law enforcement official.

Judge Salas had received threats in the past, the specialists said.

Authorities are reviewing whether there is any association between those prior warnings and the shooting, or whether it probably involved the husband’s work as a criminal defense attorney.

“I know Judge Salas and her partner well, and was pleased to support her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey’s federal bench,” New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement. “My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”

Salas is the first Latina to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey.

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