A heavily armed Californian man was arrested on Wednesday near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's Maryland home on suspicion of attempted murder. Authorities identified the man as Nicholas John Roske, 26, who was carrying a gun, knife and other tools and allegedly wanted to kill Kavanaugh and then himself.
Police have launched an investigation and it has been revealed that Roske found Kavanaugh's address online and wanted to kill the conservative jurist because he was upset about the potential overturning of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. He has since been charged with attempted murder of a US judge and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Maryland, Roske, from Simi Valley, was arrested around 1:50 am after making threats against Kavanaugh. He was heavily armed and was carrying a Glock 17 handgun, a knife, a hammer, pepper spray, a screwdriver, a crowbar, zip ties and duct tape.
Roske intended to kill Kavanaugh and then himself, he reportedly told police. However, he didn't do that. Instead, he called 911 from near Kavanaugh's Maryland home to tell cops that he was suicidal and planning to kill the conservative justice. He was then arrested from the scene.
"At approximately 1:50 a.m. today, a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh's residence. The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh. He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District," Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said.
Roske also told police that he managed to obtain Kavanaugh's location online. Officials believe he then took a taxi cab to the front of Kavanaugh's house.
On Wednesday afternoon, Roske appeared before Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan and agreed to remain in detention. A court-appointed attorney was assigned to him, and a preliminary hearing was set for June 22.
Unhappy With the System
At 1:05 a.m., two Deputy US Marshalls saw him exit the truck and look in their direction before heading down the street. According to the arrest affidavit, he was clothed in black and carrying a bag and a suitcase. He moved away from the justice's property after looking at the US Marshals.
According to the affidavit, Montgomery County Police Department officers responded to a call from Roske about 50 minutes later, indicating he was considering killing himself and the judge.
He was then arrested and transported to a local police station without incident. It's not clear if Kavanaugh or his family were home at the time.
Roske said he was angry over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion expected to overturn Roe v. Wade and the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead, according to the probable cause affidavit.
"Roske allegedly told detectives that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas," Maryland officials said.
He reportedly told investigators that he believed Justice Kavanaugh would "side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws," according to the complaint.
"Roske indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws," according to the affidavit.
"Roske stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice after finding the Justice's Montgomery County address on the Internet. Roske further indicated that he had purchased the Glock pistol and other items for the purpose of breaking into the Justice's residence and killing the Justice as well as himself."
Roske's arrest follows a wave of anti-abortion protests across the country, including outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, as well as attacks on churches, pro-life institutions, and abortion facilities by opponents.
According to reports, Roske traveled to Maryland from his residence in Simi Valley, roughly 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. He appears to work as an office manager at a pest control company, according to his Linkedin page.
Roske lived in a three-bedroom home on Marsha Avenue, according to public records. At the same address, a man and a woman in their 50s with the same surname are listed as residents. It is not known if they are related to him. According to media reports citing law enforcement officials, Roske possessed a California driver's license and had previously lived in the Seattle region.