Man arrested at Trump rally said he wanted to shoot candidate
LAS VEGAS – Reuters
In this June 18, 2016, photo, police remove Michael Steven Sandford as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas. AP PhotoA man arrested over the weekend trying to wrestle a gun from a police officer at a Las Vegas rally held by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told an investigator he wanted to kill the candidate, court papers showed on June 20.
Michael Steven Sandford, who prosecutors described as a 19-year-old British national, was arrested on June 18 at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas after trying to disarm the officer, according to Las Vegas police.
According to court papers filed on June 20 in federal court in Nevada, Sandford told a Secret Service agent he had driven to Las Vegas from California with the goal of shooting Trump.
“Sandford claimed he had been attempting to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it,” the court papers said.
He was charged with committing an act of violence on restricted ground, Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an email.
Sandford has not entered a plea and is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing on July 5, Collins said. Sandford’s federal public defender, Heather Fraley, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Sandford said he had been in the United States for a year and a half, the documents showed. The records said he had lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, after coming to the country.
Court records said Sandford went to the Battlefield Vegas gun range June 17 to practice shooting, adding that he had never fired a gun before. While there, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9 mm handgun, the records said.
Sandford told investigators that if he were “on the street tomorrow,” he would try again, the documents said.
The documents added that Sandford 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, AFP reported.
Video of his arrest carried by U.S. media show a skinny man with short brown hair and a grey T-shirt being escorted out of the rally by police officers with his hands behind his back.