A British man has been charged with trying to snatch a police officer's gun in a bid to shoot presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The man allegedly told investigators he wanted "to kill Trump."
Michael Steven Sandford, 19, was arrested Saturday as he tried to grab a gun from a police officer's holster at a Trump rally at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas, according to court documents filed in Nevada.
Sandford, a British national, said he had driven from California to Las Vegas to kill Trump and had been to a firing range the day before to practice as he had never shot a gun, court documents said.
"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 documents said.
He had apparently also bought tickets to another rally in Phoenix in case his bid to kill Trump in Las Vegas failed.
"Sandford further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again," according to the complaint. "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 to do it."
The 19-year-old had been in the United States for 18 months. He is charged with committing an act of violence on restricted ground.
Separately on Monday, Trump announced he had fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski following reports of disagreements and infighting.
Lewandowski had long been seen as a controversial figure in Trump's campaign but benefitted from his proximity to the presumptive Republican nominee, traveling with Trump to nearly every campaign stop.
Throughout his time as campaign manager, Lewandowski dismissed the idea that Trump needed to hire more experienced staff to help with his bid and endorsed Trump's divisive rhetoric - despite calls among Republicans for more moderation.
Lewandowski led the campaign from the beginning and was credited with Trump's initial success in the primaries. More recently, however, he appeared to have been sidelined, with more experienced political operatives starting to take over in the run-up to the November 8 election.
cw/cmk (AFP, Reuters)