A man arrested at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas on Saturday told the authorities that he had intended to kill Mr. Trump, according to a complaint filed Monday in United States District Court in Nevada.
The white man, Michael Steven Sandford, was arrested after trying to grab an officer’s gun from her holster, the complaint said, and had lingered near the officer, telling her he wanted Mr. Trump’s autograph.
In an interview after his arrest, the complaint says, Mr. Sandford told the authorities that he “made a conscious effort to come to Las Vegas to kill Trump,” and that he had been “planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year.” He also said that he expected to be killed by law enforcement personnel during his attempt on Mr. Trump’s life.
Mr. Sandford said that the day before the rally, which was held at the Treasure Island casino, that he visited a nearby gun range to “learn how to shoot a gun” and that it was his first time using a weapon. He said he chose the specific officer because he noticed that her holster was in an “unlocked position.”
Mr. Sandford had a United Kingdom driver’s license when he was arrested and had been living in New Jersey for about a year and a half before driving to California, and eventually Las Vegas He said he had bought a ticket to Mr. Trump’s rally in Phoenix later that day as a backup plan should he not find an opportunity in Las Vegas.
All rallies for Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, are protected by the Secret Service and feature full metal scanners at the entrance, along with numerous members of his private security detail throughout the events.
The Trump campaign directed all requests for comment to the Secret Service.
In an email, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service confirmed that Mr. Sandford was arrested after trying to disarm the officer. She said that the investigation was continuing and that he could face additional charges.