Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the home of Nicholas John Roske, 26, in Simi Valley, California. Roske was arrested on June 8 for attempting to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Federal agents converged on the Roske family’s one-story house in Simi Valley on the evening of June 8, busting down the front door after obtaining a search warrant. Neighbors of the Roskes also mentioned that agents were in the area, speaking with residents and asking questions about the perpetrator. The FBI later confirmed that “court-authorized law enforcement activity in connection to the arrest” was underway at the perpetrator’s residence.
Zach Quadri, a neighbor, said of the Roskes: “They were always nice people, so it’s a surprise more than anything.”
Another neighbor who opted to remain anonymous said he was glad that nobody was hurt. “I just pray for the outcome and [Roske’s family] because they’re going through a lot right now,” he added.
Roske was arrested during the early hours of June 8 outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland. Law enforcement took him into custody after he called 911, with officers arriving as he was in the middle of the call. The 26-year-old confided that he was having “suicidal thoughts” and had gone all the way from California to Maryland to kill a certain Supreme Court justice. (Related: Police ARREST man who wanted to kill conservative SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh.)
A Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, a hammer, a screwdriver and duct tape were found on his possession.
He was charged with one count of attempting to murder or kidnap a U.S. judge, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Roske told investigators that “he began thinking about how to give his life purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court justice,” court documents show. He subsequently appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan, pausing several times as he responded to routine inquiries.
“I think I have a reasonable understanding, but I wouldn’t say I’m thinking clearly,” Roske said in response to a question if he understood what was happening and whether he was thinking clearly. He added that he is a college graduate and is taking medication, but did not say what it is or why he is taking it.
Initial evidence revealed that Roske was angry over the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion on abortion. The opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion if adopted by other justices on the bench.
Roske was also upset over the recent school shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas. An affidavit stated Roske was of the belief that Kavanaugh, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, would vote to loosen gun control laws.
“This kind of behavior is obviously behavior we will not tolerate,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters on June 8 following the arrest. “Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices 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.”
Meanwhile, Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in an email that President Joe Biden praised authorities for quickly apprehending Roske.
“We are hearing that the individual arrested near the home of Kavanaugh was armed, and did make threats against the justice. The reckless rhetoric directed at the [Supreme] Court only fuels such extremist threats,” tweeted John Turley, attorney and legal analyst.
“Targeting the homes of justices only increases such dangers that unhinged, violent actors will seek to mete out their own retributive justice. Calls for ‘aggressive protests’ at these homes are reckless and wrong.”
Watch this Newsmax report about Roske’s June 8 arrest.
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