A Utah judge has released 2014 courtroom footage showing a U.S. Marshall fatally shooting a pen-wielding gang member during a federal racketeering trial.
Deseret News reports that the 24-second video shows Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, standing up, grabbing a pen, and approaching the witness stand to possibly attack a shackled witness. As the chaos unfolded, a U.S. Marshall identified in court documents as “Jane Doe” fired four shots at Angilau, 25, while instructing him to drop the pen.
According to CBS News, Angilau was one of 17 people listed in a 2010 indictment accusing Tongan Crip members of assault, conspiracy, robbery, and various weapons offenses. Angilau was the last person to be tried, as previous defendants were sentenced to 10 to 30 years behind bars.
In addition to releasing the video Monday, U.S. District Judge John Dowdell dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Angilau family, KUTV reported. It’s not immediately known if they’ll appeal the recent ruling.
Family attorney Bob Skyes unsuccessfully argued that the U.S. Marshall “panicked” and could’ve used another method to subdue Angilau. He also noted that the defendant was already on the ground when the Marshall fired the final three shots, CBS News also reported.
“Angilau intentionally fled the defense table to attack the witness with a pen, and his actions placed the witness, as well as other innocent bystanders just feet away, in harm’s way,” Dowdell wrote in his ruling.
“The attack was entirely unprovoked. It was thus Angilau whose actions required Doe to make a split-second choice whether to end the attack or risk that Angilau would seriously harm V.T. [the witness] or others in the courtroom.”
***WARNING: The video below contains graphic, disturbing content. Please use discretion.***
[Featured Image: U.S. Government video screengrab]