Man held at Las Vegas rally 'said he wanted to kill Trump'
Published 20/06/2016 | 23:31
A man with a UK driving licence who was arrested at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas told authorities he tried to grab an officer's gun in order to kill the US presidential hopeful, officials said.
Michael Steven Sandford, 19, has been charged with an act of violence on restricted grounds. He is expected to appear at a US District Court in Nevada later.
Authorities said Sandford went to a Trump rally on Saturday at the Treasure Island Casino and approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted an autograph from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Sandford is said to have grabbed the handle of an officer's gun in an attempt to remove it, before being arrested.
Sandford told a special agent that he was in the US for about a year and a half and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, then drove to California's San Bernardino area in his car before coming to Las Vegas on June 16.
Sandford told officers he had been planning an assassination for about a year and was convinced he would die in the attempt.
He said he had also reserved a ticket for a Trump rally in Phoenix, scheduled for later in the day, as a back-up.
He told authorities that he went to the Battlefield Vegas shooting range the day before the rally and fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol to learn how to use it.
Police who visited the range spoke to an employee who confirmed that he provided Sandford with shooting lessons, according to the report.
About 1,500 people attended the rally, which was held in the Mystere Theater inside the casino.
Attendees had to pass through metal detectors manned by US Secret Service, police and casino security officials.