The New Jersey federal judge whose son was killed and husband badly wounded by a deranged lawyer during an ambush at their home says she made a vow after the tragedy.
“My son gave his life for his father and I. I have to look at that and say, ‘What a gift,’” Judge Esther Salas told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview set to air Tuesday.
“I can’t squander it. And I’m gonna strive for betterment,” the jurist said. “I wanna be a better judge. I wanna be a better person. I just wanna be better.”
Salas’ son Daniel Anderl, was shot dead July 19 by anti-feminist, race-hate-spouting Manhattan lawyer Roy Den Hollander — who had disguised himself as a FedEx driver for his attack.
Anderl, a Catholic University student who had just turned 20 the day before, answered the doorbell to the family home in North Brunswick, and Den Hollander, who was waiting for him, shot him. Salas has said her son was trying to protect his 63-year-old dad, Mark Anderl, when he was killed. Mark was critically wounded in the shooting but survived.
“This man took the most important thing in my life. I can’t let him take anything else,” Salas told “GMA.”
“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.”
“I know I’m gonna strive every morning to be the best person that I could be.”
At the time of the shooting, the judge was overseeing a case Den Hollander had brought arguing that the men-only military draft was discriminatory.
The killer committed suicide in the days after the attack, before authorities could find him.