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‘Heightened precautions’ for RI federal judges following fatal shooting in NJ

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The head of the U.S. Marshals Service in Rhode Island said they are taking extra precautions after the son of a U.S. District Court judge was shot and killed at their New Jersey home on Sunday.

Wing Chau, U.S. Marshal for Rhode Island, said he was notified of the shooting over the weekend and has been in touch with Chief Judge John McConnell of the federal court in Providence.

“I advised him of the incident,” Chau said. “We will be going over it with the other judges today. We have to make sure our judges are safe.”

Chau said they are taking “heightened precautions,” adding the judges have to be “more cognizant when answering doors, more aware of their surroundings.”

“There is so much that is unpredictable right now,” Chau said.

Federal and state authorities are searching for a gunman after the son of federal judge Esther Salas of U.S. District Court in New Jersey was shot and killed by a man posing as a FedEx driver.

Salas’ husband was also injured. The judge was uninjured in Sunday afternoon’s shooting at her home in North Brunswick Township.

No motive for the shooting has been released.

Chaus said the U.S. Marshals Service along with the FBI, New Jersey State Police and the ATF were working the investigation.

The U.S. District Court in Rhode Island comprises three federal judges and two magistrate judges, with another magistrate who is currently recalled from retirement for several months. 

Tim White ( is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook

This article was modified from the original to correct the number of magistrate judges from three to two.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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