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Catholic University mourns student slain in NJ shooting

CUA shutterstock Sign at Catholic University of America. / Bumble Dee/Shutterstock

A gunman shot and killed the son of a federal judge— a rising junior at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.— in New Jersey on Sunday night.

Daniel Anderl, 20, was a CUA student preparing to continue his studies at CUA in the fall, according to a July 20 letter from CUA president John Garvey.

According to family members, Daniel— the couple’s only child— was interested in following his parents into a legal career.

“Please join me and our entire campus community as we extend our deepest condolences to Daniel’s family and friends. May he rest in peace,” Garvey said, adding that the campus chaplain, Father Jude DeAngelo, will offer Mass the evening of July 20 for Anderl and his family.

Daniel’s father, Mark Anderl, also suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is recovering in hospital.

Anderl’s mother, Esther Salas, is a judge on the Federal District Court of New Jersey. The shooting incident occurred around 5pm on July 19 at the family’s home in Brunswick, New Jersey.

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Members of the university community remembered Anderl on social media.

“Could this intelligent young man who I was privileged to teach really be dead at 20? His last words to me were ‘Thank you for a wonderful semester,’” theology professor CC Pecknold tweeted.

Seminarian John De Guzman noted that seminarians “played basketball with him every single week throughout this past school year. At one point, he even mentioned how it cool it was to see seminarians playing basketball & was interested in coming over and seeing what life as a seminarian was like.”

According to media reports, the gunman appeared to be dressed as a FedEx delivery driver, and rang the doorbell. The man shot Daniel when he opened the front door.

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Salas, who has been the target of threats in the past, escaped unharmed. The family is unsure whether Salas or Mark Anderl, a criminal defense lawyer, was the intended target.

Authorities have yet to fully establish the gunman’s identity, though a lawyer whose body was found the next morning— two-hours drive away from the crime scene, and with a self-inflicted gunshot wound— is being treated as the suspect by the FBI.

Salas had last week been assigned to preside over a class-action lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, which contends that the bank failed to monitor questionable transactions from the account of Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and sex offender who died under questionable circumstances in prison last year.

Among other cases, Salas also had in the past sentenced drug suppliers for criminal gangs to prison sentences, including a big-time heroin supplier in 2016, the New York Times reported. 

Salas is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in New Jersey. President Barack Obama nominated her to the position in 2010.

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