Man arrested at Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas wanted to kill candidate

Meet the man who police say tried to kill Donald Trump in Vegas. [John Treanor - KSNV - 6-20-16].jpg

A federal officer says a man arrested at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas told authorities he tried to grab an officer's gun so he could kill the candidate.

A complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada charges Michael Steven Sandford with an act of violence on restricted grounds.

It cites a report by Special Agent Swierkowski, whose first name was not included, saying Sandford told officers he drove from California to kill Trump and went to a Las Vegas gun range the day before to learn to shoot.

The complaint says Sandford went to the Battlefield Vegas gun range on Friday to learn how to shoot a gun. Sandford claimed it was the first time he had fired a gun. He said he fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol. His appearance at the range was later confirmed by a range employee.

Sandford later went to a Trump rally at the Treasure Island Casino and approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted an autograph from Trump.

The report says Sandford was arrested after grabbing the handle of an officer's gun in an attempt to remove it.

Officer Ameel Jacob was at the rally to assist in providing security. Sandford approached Jacob and attempted to seize the sidearm by grabbing the holster and handle of the firearm with both hands in an attempt to remove the firearm from the holster. Sandford was apprehended by several officers and escorted out of the theater.

"Sandford further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again. 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 about trying it," the complaint states.

He also said he had booked tickets for the Trump rally later Saturday in Phoenix in case he didn't make the attempt in Las Vegas.

It wasn't immediately clear if Sandford had an attorney. Las Vegas police say Sandford is 19.

He had a driver's license from the United Kingdom on his person when he was arrested.

Sandford's visa to visit the U.S. expired several months ago, according to testimony in court Monday afternoon. He had been living in California in his car after leaving New Jersey where he lived for a year after coming to visit from Great Britain.

Sandford's mother told investigators that he was diagnosed with Asperger's.

He spent time in a hospital at 14 where he was treated for anorexia and had once broken out of that hospital before he was detained.

Sandford's public defender argues that he should be held at a halfway house in Las Vegas while waiting for his trial. The judge ordered him to be held in federal custody.

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