Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

The video shows the moment the defendant Siale Angilau a member of the Tongan Crips gang stood up grabbed a pen or pencil and ran towards the witness stand- tossing him body over it to attack the witness

Video released of fatal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City (Warning: Graphic Content)

Dramatic video released Monday shows a USA marshal firing four times at close range at a defendant inside a Utah federal courthouse after he rushed the witness stand, jumped and swung with a pen at a shackled witness who barely backed out of the way.

Moments later into the video, a deputy US Marshal, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, pulled her gun out and fired four shots at Angilau.

Authorities on Monday released video of a US Marshal shooting an accused gang member who attacked a witness with a pen inside the Salt Lake City Federal Courthouse.

Angilau, who is believed to be a member of the Tongan Crip gang, ran towards the rival gangster testifying and attempted to attack him.

U.S. District Judge John Dowdell, the judge who released the footage, dismissed a lawsuit from the Angilau family. However, on Friday, Dowdell dismissed the suit on the basis that the marshal had reasonable belief the defendant was going to harm or kill the witness.

"The video completely contradicts the 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 his hand, ' Dowdell wrote in a statement obtained by Deseret News. "His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds".

The family of Siale Angilau, 25, have argued that the U.S. marshal who shot him dead used excessive force. "There was no necessity to use force", he told KSL.

His family have not yet decided if they will appeal the judge's dismissal of their lawsuit.

But he said the family is glad the video has been made public - and that they want justice. Warning: Viewers may find the video disturbing.

He said the video shows that the marshal "panicked" and should have used other methods to subdue Angilau.

Angilau was one of 17 people named in the 2010 indictment against Tongan Crip members, accusing them of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offences. He was the last defendant in the case to stand trial.

Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary ordered the release of a pixelated version of the video obscuring faces of law enforcement officers and others in November, but the Department of Justice objected.

A mistrial was declared after the shooting.

The media coalition including KUTV and the AP fought for several years with government attorneys to have the video released publicly, arguing that the shooting raised questions about police use of force and upholding the principle of open courts.

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