“My reaction is heartache. My heart is broken. Another family is going to have to endure what Mark and I have been living with for now 23 months,” US District Court Judge Esther Salas told CNN Sunday. “It is senseless. It is dangerous. And we need to start protecting judges all over this country.”
Speaking on Sunday, Salas said the killing of Judge Roemer was part of what judges deal with every day in doing their jobs.
“Many judges have lost their lives for doing one thing: their job, upholding democracy,” she said. “Really judges do stand at the front line ensuring that democracy is, you know, alive and well in our country.”
“We’re in a unique position. We preside over cases and 50% of the time people are not happy with us,” Salas said. “If the death of my 20-year-old son and now of Judge Roemer doesn’t say we need something done to protect this personally identifiable information, I don’t know what will.”
Wisconsin suspect had targeted list, source says
The suspect in the Wisconsin judge’s killing, Douglas K. Uhde, 56, was found in the basement of the home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and is in critical condition, the Wisconsin Justice Department said.
The suspect appeared to also have other targets related to the judicial system, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said. Those targets included Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said on Saturday her name also appeared on the gunman’s list of targets.
Uhde has not been charged in relation to the judge’s killing. CNN was not able to determine if he has a lawyer.
Roemer, the former state judge, was first elected to the bench in 2004 and was reelected in 2010 and 2016. He retired in August 2017.
“Judge Roemer dedicated much of his career to public service in the law,” Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler said in a statement. “Before taking the bench in 2004, he had served as an assistant district attorney and as an assistant state public defender. He was known by colleagues for his sharp legal mind and his willingness to share his time and knowledge with others.”
CNN’s Omar Jimenez and Whitney Wild contributed to this report.