Autistic Brit Attempts To Kill Trump- No Clear Motive. What’s Really Going On?
A British man attempted to assassinate presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a rally in Las Vegas, according to a federal complaint.
The suspect identified as Michael Steven Sandford, 20, was arrested Saturday at Treasure Island after attempting to abscond a gun from a Las Vegas police officer.
Sandford claims he had been plotting to kill Trump for about a year, but his motivation has not been clearly established. After driving to Las Vegas from California, he visited a gun range to learn how to fire a weapon, then went to the rally to kill Donald Trump. During the rally, he thought he saw the officer’s gun unlocked, adding he figured acquiring a gun this way would be the easiest, the complaint alleged.
Sandford “knowingly attempted to engage in an act of physical violence against Donald J. Trump … by attempting to seize a firearm from Las Vegas Metropolitan Department Officer,” according to the complaint.
He also said that he had bought tickets for another rally in Phoenix, Arizona, later that day, in order to kill Trump, if the first attempt had been unsuccessful.
Sandford grew up in the suburbs of Surrey, close to London. His parents have been worrying about him for the last three months and have begged him to come home. His said that Michael had recently become “upset” but they didn’t know why because his Asperger’s syndrome made it very hard to express his emotions.
While Sandford is autistic, he is competent to stand trial, according to public officials. The court heard that he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia as well as Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sandford told his parents that he had fallen in love with an American girl but she moved back home to New Jersey with her parents. To ease his depression, his parents gave him the money to travel to the U.S. and live closer to his girlfriend.
“Since he moved out there it became slowly harder and harder to get in touch with him. He does Skype, but it’s always with a white background behind him so you don’t know where he is,” His father said.
“He’s never been very good at communicating, he’s never been interested in politics and never really been interested in much… Because of his condition, he never talks about his private life and it’s always had quite an impact on how he behaves. He left school when he was 15 because he couldn’t cope with it all so he’s got no qualifications or job experience.”