A Utah Department of Corrections photo of Siale Angilau.
The defendant in a long-running gang case in Salt Lake
City was shot by US marshals when he attempted to attack a
witness testifying at his trial, a spokeswoman for the US
Attorney's Office says.
Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office,
told the Los Angeles Times that the shooting was related to
the trial of Siale Angilau, an alleged member of the Tongan
Crips. She described the case as "a long-running RICO" case
involving the group.
The Associated Press, quoting the FBI, said that Angilau died
on Monday (local time) at a hospital. He had been shot in the
The case was being heard before US District Judge Tena
Campbell, who declared a mistrial.
The trial had just begun on Monday when Angilau attacked,
according to the order signed by Campbell.
"Angilau apparently rushed and attacked a cooperating witness
and was shot several times by law enforcement in front of the
court and the Jury," the judge wrote.
After the shooting, a group of marshals continued to hold
Angilau at gunpoint near the jury box.
"The court has met with the jury and observed that most of
the jury members are visibly shaken and upset by this
episode," the judge wrote, adding: "The court finds that this
occurrence in the courtroom would so prejudice Mr. Angilau as
to deprive him of a fair trial. The court hereby declares a
In a later statement, the US Marshals Service confirmed that
a shooting took place inside a courtroom in the Salt Lake
City federal courthouse.
"A deputy US marshal fired his weapon in response to a threat
during trial proceedings. One person was injured and has been
transported for medical attention. There were no injuries to
members of the judiciary or law enforcement. The courthouse
is secure. Indications are that no weapons were secreted into
the courthouse," the agency stated.
Salt Lake City police said they were called to the downtown
US District Court building about 9:45 a.m.
Angilau was among 17 members and associates of the group
indicted on racketeering charges. Prosecutors allege the
group was a criminal enterprise responsible for robberies and
The new federal courthouse building has been open for a week.
Angilau's trial was the first in the new building.