Graphic video content: criminal shot dead in courtroom while trying to attack the witness
Even though the courtrooms are often visited by dangerous criminals and gang members, it is very unlikely to see someone trying to murder others during a trial.
That’s what happened on April 21, 2014, inside Salt Lake City Federal Courthouse. Siale Angilau, a former member of the Tongan Crip gang, was one of the 17 people involved in an indictment accusing them of assault, conspiracy, robbery, and weapons offenses.
According to Fox News, Angilau was seating next to his attorney while a witness was testifying about the inner works of the criminal group. Then, he slowly stood up from his seat, walked behind his attorney, grabbed a pen, and rushed toward the witness.
The attacker jumped the stand and tried to stab the other man, who moved backward and avoided the weapon. While Angilau was still in the air, a U.S. marshal identified as ‘Jane Doe’ fired four bullets at him.
All people in the courtroom were clearly scared and didn’t know what to do. Some of them, including Angilau’s attorney, hid under their desk seeking for cover for the bullets.
After being shot, another official told Angilau to drop the pen. Tena Campbell, the U.S. District Judge, was escorted out of the courtroom and soon after that, someone called 911. Angilau died shortly after the shooting.
The video that showed the incident was released on March 12, 2018, almost four years after the trial. It wasn’t shared earlier because it was used as evidence in order to determine if the marshal acted reasonably or not.
Angilau’s family pointed out that he was armed only with a pen and that firing at him four times was excessive, which is why they made a wrongful-death suit against ‘Jane Doe.’
On March 9, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Dowdell dismissed it, saying that the marshal's actions were not excessive.
As a way to protect the people involved, the faces of the judge, attorneys, and jurors were blurred out.