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Shocking moment gang member is shot dead in US courtroom after trying to attack a witness with a pen

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/03/2018 Sophie Williams

Warning: This video may contain some disturbing footage


This is the shocking moment a gang member launches himself at a witness inside a courtroom before being shot dead.

Siale Angilau, 25, was standing trial in Salt Lake City when he ran at the rival gang member testifying and tried to attack him with a pen.

As he launched himself at the witness, a female US Marshall shot Angilau, an alleged member of the Tongan Crip gang.

The footage taken in 2014, was released after a lawsuit brought by Angilau's family was dismissed. They claimed the shooting was 'particularly unreasonable, reckless and constitutionally excessive.“

a group of people in a room: courtgun1303a.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited courtgun1303a.jpg Officers and the female US Marshall referred to as Jane Doe were blurred as to not reveal their identities. 

In the video, Angilau can be seen at his lawyer's desk on the left side of the room. He then gets up from his seat.

Angilau then grabs an item from the desk, said to be a pen, and runs at the witness box.

People in the courtroom can be heard shouting as he runs towards the witness.

Angilau then jumps over the box to gain access to the witness.

At that point, gun shots can then be heard.

Angilau is hidden behind the witness box as officers shout at him to let go of the pen.

Officers can then be seen telling the witness to get down onto the ground.

Before the footage cuts, someone can be heard calling 911.

The video was released after Angilau's family filed a lawsuit claiming that excessive force had been used in the shooting.

US District Judge John Dowell said in a statement obtained by Deseret News: “The video completely contradicts plaintiffs' argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself over the witness stand while making a stabbing motion with a pen in hand.

“Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witness. His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds.”

The 25-year-old was standing trial on federal racketeering along with other charges including conspiracy, assault, robbery and weapons offences. He was also accused of assaulting two federal officers and brandishing a firearm.

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