A California man was arrested early Wednesday after he traveled to the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh armed with a gun, burglary tools, and a plan to kill Kavanaugh in order “to give his life a purpose,” prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint.
Nicholas John Roske, a 26-year-old from Simi Valley, took a taxi to Kavanaugh’s Maryland home and was armed with a Glock 17 handgun, a knife, pepper spray, zip ties, a nail punch, a crowbar, and a hammer, the complaint says.
He allegedly admitted to officers that he singled out Kavanaugh over the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which affirms the right to abortion. He also allegedly said he was angry about recent mass shootings, and feared Kavanaugh would further weaken gun control laws.
The complaint says Roske admitted to federal agents that he traveled from California to break into Kavanaugh’s home, kill him, and then take his own life. But he ditched the plan as soon as he arrived at the conservative justice’s home.
Roske got out of a taxi in front of Kavanaugh’s home just before 2 a.m. Wednesday with a suitcase in hand and looked at two U.S. Marshals, who were standing guard nearby. The complaint says Roske then turned around, walked down the street, and called 911 to admit he was armed and suicidal.
The Marshals took him into custody without incident and transported him to the Montgomery County Police Department’s Second District Precinct, where he allegedly confessed to the foiled plan.
“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,” the complaint says.
He allegedly admitted purchasing the handgun solely to shoot Kavanaugh. The 26-year-old is now charged with attempting to murder a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in federal court on Wednesday afternoon.
A LinkedIn account under the same name and home city as Roske lists his job as office manager at Valley Guard Pest Control. An archived page for high school cross country results showed he once attended Simi Valley High School.
Multiple phone calls and messages to family members weren’t returned Wednesday, and a Facebook page for a woman who appeared to be Roske’s mother was removed after The Daily Beast reached out.
A Facebook message and phone call to the owner of Valley Guard Pest Control was not answered, though an employee at the company confirmed a man named Nicholas worked there.
Security had been increased around Supreme Court justices’ homes after the bombshell Roe v. Wade draft was leaked to Politico in early May. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan thanked U.S. Marshals and Montgomery County Police for “acting quickly to apprehend the suspect and prevent him from causing any harm.”