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 and use it to kill the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
According to a complaint filed in US District Court in Nevada on Monday, 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, who holds a British driving licence, 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 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 US for about 18 months, and had lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, before travelling to California.
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.
Earlier on Monday, Corey Lewandowski, the controversial campaign manager who helped Trump win the Republican Party’s presidential nominating contests, was dismissed.
Trump’s campaign issued a statement carried by multiple US media saying Lewandowski “will no longer be working with the campaign” and thanked him for his hard work.
The firing was another shake-up for a campaign already at odds with many senior Republican figures over the presumptive nominee’s policies, with the party’s nominating convention in Cleveland less than a month away.