Gang Member Shot and Killed in Courtroom While Attacking Witness Testifying

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 21 2014 7:01 PM

Gang Member Shot and Killed in Utah Courtroom While Trying to Attack Witness Testifying

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An alleged gang member was shot and killed in a Salt Lake City courthouse after trying to attack a witness on the witness stand.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

An alleged gang member on trial for racketeering was shot and killed in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Monday. Siale Angilau rushed at the witness stand where a witness was testifying against him in the case with a pen in hand in an “aggressive, threatening manner,” according to the FBI. A U.S. marshal in the courtroom opened fire on Angilau, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the chest, and later died in the hospital, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

"The witness was speaking about his gang life and how all that happened and came to be. And something must have upset the defendant and he just ran up and jumped over the witness stand to attack him," a courtroom witness told the Deseret News. According to the Associated Press, “Angilau was one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2010 accusing ‘Tongan Crip’ gang members of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offenses.”

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The judge in the trial declared a mistrial after the shooting on what was the second day of the proceeding.

*Correction, Apr. 22, 2014: This post originally misspelled the Deseret News newspaper.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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