The man who authorities say schemed to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last week had texted his sister before he abandoned his plot, police said.
“The suspect arrived by taxi and observed the U.S. marshals, and he turned around to contemplate his next move,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told the Washington Post. “This is when he texted his sister and told her of his intentions, and she convinced him to call 911, which he did.”
California man Nicholas John Roske, 26, was allegedly armed with a pistol and a knife when he was taken into custody by police after he took a taxi cab to Kavanaugh’s home on June 8.
It wasn’t immediately clear what he texted to his sister or what she said in response. Also unclear is whether Roske’s sister knew he was going to Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland.
In a criminal complaint last week, Roske told a 911 operator that he was having “suicidal thoughts” and said he had a gun locked inside a suitcase.
“Do you have access to any weapons?” the 911 operator is heard saying. “Yes. I brought a firearm with me, but it’s unloaded and locked in the case,” Roske allegedly said in response. “I’m standing near it, but the suitcase is zip-tied shut. I just came from the airport.”
Investigators had said that the presence of two U.S. Marshals standing outside Kavanaugh’s home may have acted as a deterrent.
“While the deputies did not witness anything that would have resulted in an enforcement action, their vigilance and posture averted a potential violent act against the Justice,” Drew Wade, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service, told the Washington Post.
Last week, officials said Roske allegedly traveled from California to Maryland to kill Kavanaugh because he was upset about a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that suggested the justices may move to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roske said he was also upset because he believed Kavanaugh would vote to lessen gun control laws in another pending Supreme Court decision.
“An inventory search of the seized suitcase and backpack revealed a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items,” a criminal complaint read.
“They were always nice people so it’s a surprise more than anything,” Roske’s neighbor Zach Quadri told CBS of his family. “They’re great neighbors,” said Michael Holbrook, another neighbor, told VC Star. “I’m very dumbfounded.”