A federal marshal shot and killed a man on trial at the new federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City after he rushed the witness stand.Siale Angilau, 25, was on trial for violating federal RICO laws. Those are laws that deal with organized crime and corruption. The charges stem from Angilau’s involvement with the Tongan Crip gang.
Perry Caldwell was inside the courtroom when Angilau attacked the witness. He says the witness was testifying about how the Tongan Crip gang works when it happened.
“Everything was fast," he says. "He jumped up, ran over, hit him and got shot. And when he was on the ground he was still getting fired on.”
FBI officials at the scene say it appears that Angilau charged the witness stand with a pen or a pencil in his hand before being shot and apprehended by federal authorities in the courtroom. Mark Dressen is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI. He praised the work of the U.S. Marshals inside the courtroom.
“I think the marshals did an exceptional job," Dressen says. "They stopped the threat to the witness. The courtroom was fully secured at that time and there is no additional threats to the community beyond this.”
Angilau was the final defendant in a series of cases brought against the Tongan Crip gang. Several other defendants were tried and convicted in a case that ended in 2011. Angilau’s trial was the first jury trial held in the new federal courthouse.