A 19-year-old man has been charged for trying to grab a police officer’s gun at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas in a bid to kill the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
According to a complaint filed in US District Court in Nevada, Michael Sandford tried to disarm the officer at the June 18 rally at the Mystere Theatre in the Treasure Island Casino before being overpowered.
It said the young man told a Secret Service agent after his arrest that he had driven from California to Las Vegas “to kill Trump,” and had been to a range a day earlier to learn to shoot as he had never fired a gun before.
"Sandford acknowledged that he would likely only be able to fire one to two rounds and stated he was convinced he would be killed by law enforcement during his attempt on Trump’s life," the complaint said.
It said Sandford, who holds a British driver’s license, told investigators he had purchased tickets for a rally in Phoenix where he "would try again to kill Trump" in the event his plan in Las Vegas failed.
Officials would not confirm Sandford’s nationality saying only that he had told investigators he had been in the United States for about 18 months, and had lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, before traveling to California.
The complaint said Sandford had targeted officer Ameel Jacob’s gun because it was in an unlocked position and would be the easiest way to acquire a gun to shoot Trump.
"Sandford further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again,” according to the complaint. Sandford claimed he had been planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident to do it."
A spokeswoman at the Las Vegas prosecutor’s office said the young man was due to appear in court later Monday on a charge of act of violence on restricted grounds.