Judge Esther Salas Speaks Out for 1st Time Since Son was Killed and Husband Wounded in Shooting

Judge Esther Salas
ABC News

On Tuesday, Judge Esther Salas vowed she would be a better person to honor her son, who was killed by Roy Den Hollander.

The New Jersey judge whose son was shot to death and husband wounded after a gunman opened fire inside their home has given her first interview since the tragedy and says what occurred to her family makes her want to be an even better judge. On Tuesday, Judge Esther Salas sat down with "Good Morning America" for her first interview since the shooting, telling Robin Roberts: “This man took the most important thing in my life. I can't let him take anything else."

"I love my job," she continued. "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.”

On July 19, Roy Den Hollander was dressed as a FedEx worker when arrived at Salas' front door and shot and killed her 20-year-old son, Daniel, as he opened the door. The gunfire also wounded her husband, Mark A. Anderl. The judge was in another part of the home and was uninjured. 

On July 22, Hollander’s body was found in New York State, two hours north from where Salas lived. Authorities say he died by suicide. Hollander was a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer who was known for misogynistic views. Salas said the shooting was racially and gender-motivated. An alleged hit list was discovered with Hollander's remains and it contained the name of another judge.

“I know that I'm gonna strive every morning to be the best person that I could be. My son gave his life for his father and I. I have to look at that and say, 'What a gift,'" she told Roberts. "I can't squander it. And I'm gonna strive for betterment. I want to be a better judge. I want to be a better person. I just want to be better.”