THE New Jersey federal judge whose son was shot dead by a lawyerdressed as a FedEx driver this summer said his death has made her want to "strive for betterment."
In an interview with Good Morning America airing Tuesday morning, Judge Esther Salas spoke with Robin Roberts about her son Daniel Andrel who died after being shot in the chest.
Disgruntled lawyer Roy Den Hollander, 72, was disguised as a FedEx delivery driver when he shot Salas' son Daniel Anderl, 20, through the heart at his family home in New Jersey on July 19, an FBI spokesperson told The Sun in August.
Salas said her son and husband went to the door at the same after after Den Hollander knocked and stepped in front of his father, taking the first bullet.
His father, Mark Anderl, 63, was also wounded in the North Brunswick attack before the gunman drove to Sullivan County and turned the weapon on himself.
"Daniel being Daniel protected his father," Salas told GMA. "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," she continued.
The alleged murderer was found dead in his car near a campsite in the Catskills, authorities confirmed — and a package addressed to the judge was found along with his body, officials said.
According to authorities, Den Hollander was a self proclaimed anti-feminist lawyer.
He first came in contact with Salas in 2015 when he represented a 17-year-old girl who sued Selective Service System, saying the military's male-only rule for enforcing a draft was discriminatory.
Salas allowed the case to proceed however he was removed from the case in 2019 for unknown reasons.
Den Hollander repeatedly complained about Salas online including describing her as, "the usual effort to blame a man and turn someone into super girl."
In Tuesday's interview, Salas said the lawyer "took the most important thing in my life."
"I can't let him take anything else," she said. "I love my job. I'm proud to be a United States district judge. I can't let him take that from me. And I know that I'm gonna be an even better judge."
Since the tragedy, Salas has said she wishes to be the "best person" she can be.
"My son gave his life for his father and I," she said. "I have to look at that and say, 'What a gift.' I can't squander it. And I'm gonna strive for betterment. I wanna be a better judge. I wanna be a better person. I just wanna be better."
According to Salas, she received threats in the past, however none had indication they were from Den Hollander.
In 2019, the U.S. Marshals Service reported 4,449 threats and inappropriate communications against public servants, such as federal judges.
In the rambling manifesto he wrote this year, Den Hollander slammed Salas regarding the 2015 case.
He said his condition worsened when he was “preparing for oral argument in a federal case before a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama."
Salas, seated in Newark, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011.
He earlier referred to Salas as "this hot Latina Judge in the US District Court for New Jersey whom Obama had appointed."
Salas' interview with GMA is expected to air on Tuesday at 7 a.m. EST.
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