US defendant shot dead in court after launching attack on witness giving evidence against him
A member of a notorious street gang has been shot by a deputy marshal while standing trial in a US court.
Armed officers stepped in when Sial Angilau, 25, launched an attack against a witness giving evidence against him in the federal court in Salt Lake City.
He was not handcuffed at the time of the attack and appeared to be wielding a pen or pencil, according to Reuters.
Federal officers opened fire at the defendant, who was shot in the chest and died at a local hospital.
No one was injured in the incident, which resulted in US District Judge Tena Campbell declaring a mistrial.
It was reported that officers continued to hold the wounded defendant at gunpoint near the jury box until he was removed from the courtroom.
Portia Louder, who was in the courtroom next door, said she saw marshals running through the court room, but didn’t hear any gun shots.
She added that an officer told her that the accused attempted to stab the witness on the stand and a marshal may have shot him.
Angilau was a member of the notorious Tongan Crip Gang and was on trial for federal racketeering, as well as a number of other charges.
Police are now investigating the incident and have cordoned off the federal courthouse.
Independent News Service