The armed suspect who was arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home after allegedly threatening to kill the justice has been identified as Nicholas John Roske of California.
Roske is charged with the attempted murder of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, according to an affidavit filed in a Maryland district court. The affidavit was shared to Twitter by WUSA-TV reporter Jordan Fischer.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said that a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s residence at approximately 1:50 a.m.
“The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh. He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District,” spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in a statement.
According to FBI Special Agent Ian Montijo, at around 1:05 a.m. EST two United States Deputy Marshals saw an individual dressed in black clothing exit a taxi cab in front of Kavanaugh’s residence in Montgomery County, Maryland. The individual was carrying a backpack and a suitcase. When he saw the two Marshals, he “turned to walk down the street,” the affidavit said.
“Shortly thereafter, Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center fielded a call from an individual who identified himself as NICHOLAS JOHN ROSKE. ROSKE informed the call taker that he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase. ROSKE also told the call taker he came from California to kill a specific United States Supreme Court Justice,” the affidavit alleges.
The affidavit says Roske was then taken into police custody without incident and his possessions were seized by law enforcement.
Police found “a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items” in the suspect’s bag and suitcase, according to the affidavit.
Earlier reports indicated the suspect harbored animosity towards Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court because of the leaked draft majority opinion in which the court voted to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban by overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
The affidavit states that Roske told a Montgomery County Police detective that he was “upset” about the leaked abortion decision and the recent elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He allegedly said that Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws and that he believed he could give his life purpose by killing the Supreme Court justice after finding Kavanaugh’s address posted online.
“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,” the affidavit alleges.
The private home addresses of six Supreme Court justices, including Kavanaugh’s, were posted online by the left-wing group Ruth Sent Us in May. Pro-abortion rights activists staged multiple protests outside the justices’ residences, demanding that the court leave Roe v. Wade intact in possible violation of federal law.
This alleged threat against Kavanaugh’s life comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned in May that political violence directed at the court and its justices “are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling” on abortion.
The attempted murder charge Roske faces carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines.