“I hope I do progress into a serial killer:” Marine arrested less than a week after being discharged

. Marines assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Special Reaction Team respond to a simulated active shooter scenario during Exercise Sudden Crisis on MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, Oct. 24, 2023. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lauralle Walker

Kevin Shea

A Mercer County man who was in the U.S. Marine Corps until last week has been charged with making threatening statements about killing white people in a shooting rampage, federal authorities announced Monday.

Joshua Cobb, 23, of Hamilton, mentioned two possible attack locations, a Jersey Strong gym and an Aldi grocery store in Robbinsville, and said he had access to guns and the will to kill a lot of people, authorities allege.

Cobb also fantasized about the adrenaline rush and high he’d feel during such a shooting. “I’d probably OD on my own adrenaline after the 10th body goes down,” he allegedly wrote on social media in March of last year.

“I want to cause mayhem on the white community. The reason i specifically want to target white people is because as a black male, they will NEVER understand my struggles. Same way I will never understand their struggles, but I don’t care to. I want to erase them. All of them really, but in this case as many as I possibly can,” Cobb posted on social media in December 2022, according to authorities.

He also wrote, “Tbh [to be honest] I hope I do progress into a serial killer.”

Cobb is charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. Investigators arrested him Friday night and he’s currently in the Monmouth County jail.

Cobb appeared in federal court in Trenton Monday and a judge ruled he be detained pending his next hearing, scheduled for Friday, court records show.

The federal public defenders on his case did not immediately return a request for comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey listed Cobb as living in Trenton, and traced some of his online postings to a specific address, but local law enforcement say the location was Berg Avenue in Hamilton, where Cobb lived when not in the Marines.

In court papers, federal investigators detail a damning list of posts Cobb allegedly wrote on social media, spoke to federal agents or had on his cellphone, which investigators seized last month.

They take place from December 2022 to recently. Federal authorities gave these details:

In the December 2022 post in which he threatened white people Cobb also wrote that the attack would occur in New Jersey in 2023. He said the date would be, “close to an important holiday to their race. I have a location in mind already which I have frequented for the past year and I am certain nobody there is armed to be able to stop me from spraying them to the ground.”

Cobb joined the U.S. Marine Corps and attended basic training from June to October 2023, and reported for duty at a Marine base in Twentynine Palms, California in February.

Before that, from February to May 2023, Cobb allegedly posted – using the online moniker “ldayUsuffer” – critiques of federal gun laws, described torturing cats and divulged his own mental illness, and the struggles of being a young Black man from poverty.

“I promise I will make everyone feel my f—ing pain. My deep, sincere, raw, & sharp pain,” he wrote.

Federal authorities did not say how they were alerted to Cobb, but last month they interviewed him on the Marine base in California and seized his phone.

In the notes on his phone, investigators found writing from 2023, which included plans to bring guns to New Jersey, and more homicidal ideations, including, “I currently lack the means necessary to kill as many as I intend to but one day I will have the available resources (finance) to purchase the appropriate weaponry for my killing(s).”

Then, to investigators, Cobb talked more about his contempt for “privileged white people in New Jersey.”

He said he was thinking of attacking a Jersey Strong gym because he was familiar with it, how its crowded at 5 p.m. and “high schoolers” sneak in a back door, which he would utilize to attack the property.

Cobb did not mention the specific Jersey Strong gym, but investigators suspect it’s the location in Robbinsville.

He then mentioned shooting an Aldi in Robbinsville, like “Payton did.”

Authorities say this is a reference to Payton Gendron, who killed 10 people in a racially-motivated shooting at a Buffalo, New York grocery store in May 2022. Cobb said he “liked his attack, liked the element of surprise and style.”

Cobb also discussed other mass shooters, name dropping Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 t at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Cobb “felt a connection” with Cruz and “felt his pain.”

Representatives for the places Cobb allegedly mentioned as targets could not immediately be reached for comment.

When authorities told Cobb they were going to search his phone, he angrily said, “these are the things that make someone want to do the things we talked about.”

And following the interview, he allegedly told another Marine of his situation with investigators and said, “this is why people like me shoot people.”

Cobb informed the Marine Corps that when he was discharged, on or about May 10, he’d be back home at the Trenton address.

Authorities took him into custody that night.

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Kevin Shea may be reached at kshea@njadvancemedia.com

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