Defendant Shot, Killed in Courtroom During Trial

Siale Angilau rushed the witness, got taken down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2014 4:32 PM CDT
This Feburary 2012 photo, provided by the Utah Department of Corrections, shows Siale Angilau.   (AP Photo/Utah Department of Corrections)

(Newser) – The defendant in a racketeering trial was shot and killed today when he rushed a witness in the Salt Lake City federal courthouse. Siale Angilau, an alleged member of the Tongan Crip gang, was being tried for his alleged involvement in gang-related crimes, including the 2007 shooting of two deputy US marshals. As Vaiola Mataele Tenifa, currently serving 30 years on robbery and aggravated assault convictions, testified, Angilau ran toward him in an "aggressive, threatening manner," the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Angilau was holding a pen or pencil at the time and appeared about to punch the witness, and a US marshal in court shot him multiple times in the chest. The 25-year-old died later at a local hospital. It was just the second day of his trial, the last in a series of cases related to the Tongan Crip gang the federal government has been prosecuting since 2007. When the shooting occurred, Tenifa was testifying about the gang and how it works, USA Today reports.

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