Feds: Man, 19, Admits Plot To Murder Trump

Suspect sought to grab officer's gun at rally

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Trump Kill Bid

JUNE 20--A man arrested Saturday at a Donald Trump rally told Secret Service agents that he tried to grab a Las Vegas cop’s gun so he could “shoot and kill” the Republican presidential candidate, according to a U.S. District Court filing.

Michael Steven Sandford, 19, was in the audience at a rally at the Treasure Island Casino when he approached Officer Ameel Jacob and said that “he was seeking an autograph from Trump,” a criminal complaint states.

While Trump was on stage speaking, Sandford, prosecutors allege, grabbed “the holster and handle” of Jacob’s service weapon “in an attempt to remove the firearm from the holster.” Sandford, seen at right, was quickly thwarted and he was hustled from the 1500-seat Mystere Theatre.

During subsequent interviews with Secret Service representatives, Sandford--who was carrying a United Kingdom driver’s license--said that he has been in the U.S. for about 18 months and was living in southern California.

Sandford told agents that he drove from California to Las Vegas two days earlier and planned to murder Trump. Sandford said he was aware Trump was making a speech in Las Vegas and “made a conscious effort to come to Las Vegas to kill Trump.”

The day before the Trump rally, Sandford went to a Las Vegas gun range and got instructions on how to fire a Glock 9mm pistol. Sandord told investigators it was the first time he had fired a gun.

Asked why he accosted Officer Jacob, Sandford said that he believed the cop’s holster was unlocked and “reasoned it would be the easiest way to acquire a gun to shoot Trump.”

While in custody, Sandford declared that “if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again.” The defendant added that he had been planning to kill Trump for more than a year and “decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it.”

Sanford told Secret Service agents that his plan was “To shoot and kill Trump” and that he expected to only fire one or two rounds before he himself was shot by law enforcement officers. Sandford said that if he had not made an attempt on Trump’s life in Las Vegas, he “had booked tickets for a Trump political rally in” Phoenix Saturday, “and would try again there to kill Trump.”

Sandford is accused in a felony complaint of attempting to commit an act of violence on restricted grounds. He is scheduled for a court appearance this afternoon and prosecutors will likely argue that he should be denied bail. (5 pages)