FBI Raids SoCal Home of Alleged Would-Be Justice Kavanaugh Killer

On Wednesday, Nicholas John Roske was arrested with a firearm in his suitcase near the justice’s home by police in Maryland

Before dawn on Thursday morning, FBI agents were seen apparently executing a search warrant at the Southern California home of the young man who’d been apprehended 24 hours earlier in Maryland, for allegedly planning to gun down Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

On Wednesday, Nicholas John Roske was arrested by police officers in Montgomery County, Maryland with a firearm in his suitcase after he’d called 911 and told a dispatcher he was having “suicidal thoughts” and planned to gun down the justice, as is outlined in a federal criminal complaint. The 26-year-old, who was near the justice’s home when he was arrested, has been charged with attempted murder. 

On Thursday, reporters with local L.A. news stations spotted federal agents entering Roske’s Ventura County home and questioning neighbors about what they know of the young man. Agents told ABC7 that court-authorized law enforcement activity in connection to the arrest was being carried out at the Simi Valley residence. 

It was just after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning when Roske stepped from a taxi, dressed entirely in black, directly outside Kavanaugh’s home in the Washington suburbs. At that point, he noticed two deputy marshals who were stationed outside the justice’s home as part of heightened security standing next to their vehicle. They had observed the young man’s arrival.

Roske, at that point, turned away to walk down the street. This was when 911 received a call in which he allegedly said he’d traveled from California to kill a specific Supreme Court Justice, had a firearm in his suitcase, and was having “suicidal thoughts.” Roske was still on the phone with the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center when he was apprehended by local police, according to the affidavit. 

As he was being taken into custody, authorities searching his backpack and suitcase found a black tactical chest rig and knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer and screwdriver, a nail punch, a crowbar, a pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots and more items, as outlined in the federal complaint. 

Police stand outside the home of U.S. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

While being interviewed in custody, Roske told detectives that he had traveled to Maryland because he was upset about the Supreme Court draft decision on abortion rights, which leaked in early May, as well as the recent mass shooting at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 dead, according to the probable cause affidavit signed by Special Agent Ian Montijo. 

“Roske indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” Montijo wrote. “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 told detectives he’d purchased the Glock and other items specifically “for the purpose of breaking into the justice’s residence and killing the Justice as well as himself,” Special Agent Montijo wrote. 

Several major decisions—particularly around abortion care and gun control—are expected to be handed down by the high court in the coming weeks as its nine justices wrap up the court’s October-to-June term. Security detail for the justices has been ramped up as protests have emerged in the wake of the unprecedented leak of the abortion care draft decision.

President Joe Biden was quick to praise authorities for apprehending the suspect, according to White House officials. Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters on Wednesday that such behavior is intolerable.

“Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable,” Garland said.

If convicted of the attempted murder of a United States judge, Roske is looking at a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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