N.J. Federal Judge's Son Killed, Husband Injured By Gunman Dressed As A Delivery Man
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Authorities have identified the man suspected of shooting the son of a federal judge and wounding her husband last night in northern New Jersey. The suspect was named as Roy Den Hollander, a lawyer and activist in the so-called men's rights movement. Police say Den Hollander was found dead. As NPR's Brian Mann reports, the shooting at the judge's home is still being investigated.
BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: The FBI says Roy Den Hollander went to the family home of Judge Esther Salas on Sunday. It's believed he was dressed as a delivery driver. At a briefing today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy offered prayers for Salas.
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PHIL MURPHY: Whose son was murdered and husband seriously wounded yesterday in a brazen and cowardly act of gun violence at their home. This is an unconscionable tragedy.
MANN: Salas herself was uninjured. After a massive manhunt, state police in New York told NPR they had found a body in Rockland, N.Y., which they believed was linked to the case. The FBI later confirmed Den Hollander was deceased. It's been widely reported he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though authorities have yet to confirm any details. The FBI also hasn't offered a motive. They say they're continuing their investigation and are asking the public for help with any information about the attack. Den Hollander was an attorney who described himself as a specialist in anti-feminist litigation. He filed suits alleging that women get special treatment in violation of the Constitution. He also pushed to outlaw ladies nights at bars and to dismantle college women's studies programs.
This violence comes as federal judges nationwide have faced a sharp increase in threats. The U.S. Marshals Service reported nearly 4,500 threats and inappropriate communications against judges and their families in 2019. That's more than four times the number reported just a few years ago. In recent years, Judge Salas handled a series of high-profile cases. One involved an alleged gang leader in New Jersey who was eventually sentenced to 45 years behind bars. She also presided over a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for its alleged involvement in money laundering and its involvement with high-risk customers, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Judge Salas' son Daniel had attended Catholic University of America and was a rising junior. And the school's president John Garvey issued a statement today saying, we all mourn and grieve this loss to our university community.
Brian Mann, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.