Violent crime is on the rise all across the nation in the aftermath of weeks of violent protests (read: riots) throughout the country. The police aren’t really sure how to do their job in a lot of places and they don’t trust the local officials to have their back if they’re forced to use lethal force. It’s not a good look for anyone, anywhere.
And yet, here we are.
If that wasn’t enough, a recent attack may represent something even worse than just a spike in more pedestrian violent crimes. A federal judge’s family may have been targeted.
A gunman shot and killed the 20-year-old son of a federal judge in New Jersey and shot and injured her husband Sunday at the family home, the state’s chief district judge said.
The shootings occurred at the North Brunswick home of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, and killed her son, Daniel, Chief District Judge Freda Wolfson told The Associated Press. Her husband, defense lawyer Mark Anderl, was injured, Wolfson said.
The gunman posed as a delivery driver, according to a judiciary official who wasn’t authorized to comment and spoke anonymously to the AP. They said Salas was in the basement at the time and wasn’t injured and her husband is recovering from surgery.
The perpetrator, believed to be a lone gunman, was not in custody, the official said. The FBI tweeted Sunday night that it’s looking for one suspect in the shootings.
Salas, seated in Newark, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011. Prior to that she served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey, after working as an assistant public defender for several years.
As a federal judge, Salas presided over a number of high-profile cases, but also many others that never made the national news. As a result, any number of people may have had a grudge against her.
Of course, that doesn’t rule out the target being someone else. After all, defense attorneys get hate as well. Further, children of powerful people often act as if they’re the ones with the power, meaning the son may well have made his own enemies.
Right now, though, we don’t really know too much about just what transpired. More importantly, we don’t know why it happened. Federal judges are important figures, regardless of who appointed them. This isn’t a good thing, regardless of reasons.
Plus, this isn’t just some random act of violence where the judge’s family was caught in the crossfire. No, the house was targeted. There’s no information claiming it was a robbery or anything. Instead, a “delivery driver” showed up, shot two people, then left. That’s it. I’m sorry, but that’s not random no matter how you slice it.
I offer my own condolences to Judge Salas today. No one should have to lose their child. Her husband is recovering, at least, which means she didn’t lose everything, but she lost more than enough.
In such a time when we’re so divided over politics, can’t we agree that something like this just shouldn’t happen?