Marshal fatally shoots Utah defendant who rushed witness, feds say
SALT LAKE CITY — A U.S. marshal fatally shot a defendant in a Utah federal courtroom Monday morning after he rushed at a witness as his trial began, officials said.
Siale Angilau, an alleged gang member charged with racketeering conspiracy, was shot several times at a Salt Lake City federal courthouse after Angilau attacked someone who was on the witness stand, Judge Tena Campbell said in a court document about the incident.
He later died at a hospital after being shot in the chest, the FBI said in a news release.
Angilau was the only person shot, said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for Utah.
Rydalch didn’t give details about how Angliau attacked the witness or whether the witness was hurt.
Campbell declared a mistrial, noting the shooting happened in front of jury members, who were “visibly shaken and upset.”
“The court finds that this occurrence in the courtroom would so prejudice Mr. Angilau as to deprive him of a fair trial,” Campbell wrote.
Angilau is one of nine alleged members of the Tongan Crip Gang charged in a 2010 indictment with racketeering conspiracy. The indictment alleges Angilau committed several convenience store robberies in Salt Lake City and assaulted the stores’ clerks from December 2002 to July 2007.
Angilau was charged with several other crimes, including assaulting a federal officer.