On June 21, 2016, Michael Sandford, 19, attempted to pull out a police officer’s gun at a Las Vegas, Nevada, rally to shoot Donald Trump. He told authorities that he wanted to “kill Donald Trump.” According to CNN, Trump’s assailant is now behind bars.
The 19-year-old told Las Vegas Metropolitan Police that he wanted to acquire Trump’s autograph. However, while at the convention, Sandford tried pulling an officer’s gun from the holster.
Officers that were working security detail were able to detain Sandford without incident to him. Sandford had been planning the attack for over a year after hearing that the politician was holding a rally in Las Vegas. Trump’s assailant felt comfortable enough to execute his plan and now he behind bars.
His visa had expired and the illegal immigrant was living in his car in California. On June 17, he went to a Las Vegas shooting range to practice using a gun for the first time. Sandford stated that if he was released he would try to kill Trump again.
According to a CNN affiliate, Sandford was in front of a Federal Judge on June 21. He was charged with committing a violent act in a restricted area. A CNN correspondent placed a call to Sandford’s lawyer, however, he did not respond.
Sandford stated to authorities, if he had not been successful in taking Trump’s life in Las Vegas, he would have attended the next rally, which was going to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. He was under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Secret Service but local police attend the rallies as additional security.
The Secret Service has charged Sandford with violating two federal laws, one of which was assault. If Sandford is convicted of attempting to shoot Trump, he could face a decade behind bars.
The judge has considered him a flight risk because he is an illegal immigrant. Trump’s assailant will remain behind bars until his next court date, which is July 5. Sandford could be facing other charges. According to CNN, the investigation is ongoing.
This not the first time a rally has been disrupted by protesters inside and out of the rallies. On March 12, Thomas Dimassimo was arrested for disorderly conduct and inducing panic, according to ABC News. This occurred one day after the Republican candidate had cancelled an event due to safety reasons.
Trump was on stage and ridiculing a protester, that was escorted from the rally, when Dimassimo rushed toward the stage. Several Secret Service agents and other members of law enforcement came to Trump’s aid.
After the incident, Trump told the crowd, “I was ready for him, but it is much easier when the cops do it, do we agree?” He explained to the crowd why it was decided to cancel the rally in Chicago, Illinois; it was cancelled due to protesters who were threatening an attack on his life.
Trump stated there were at least 25,000 people registered to attend the Chicago rally. While the rally attendees were anxiously awaiting Trump’s arrival, protests broke loose. During the protests an attack plan was formed. Trump stated that the protest looked professionally done. He also stated that Bernie Sanders was to blame. Sanders spoke to Chicago on Saturday and he told his supporters, “What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has, in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence.”
According to ABC News Chicago, police had stated they had enough sources to handle any situation that may arise during the rally. Chicago Superintendent John Escalante, said that trump had not consulted with him before calling off the rally.
The chaos between the protestors and Trump’s supporters, caused five people to be arrested and two officers have been injured. The Ohio governor spoke on Saturday and said that Trump had created a “toxic environment.”
The senator of Florida was frustrated in his reply, when asked if he would support Trump as the Republican Presidential nominee. He stated that Hillary Clinton would be a mistake for this country, and he intends to support the Republican Party, regardless, but that it has become increasingly difficult.
After the rally cancellation in Chicago, Trump reported to Fox News that the protestors were not angry with him. He stated that it had to do with the lack of jobs and the inefficient running of the U.S. government.
By Brandy Combs
Edited by Jeanette Smith
ABC NEWS Trump Surrounded by Secret Service as Man Tries Rushing Stage
CNN Man who attempted to grab gun at rally wanted ‘to kill Trump’
FOX NEWS Man tried to grab cop’s gun to kill Trump at Las Vegas rally, authorities say
Photo Courtesy of Mark Taylor’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License