Accused gang member dies in federal courthouse shooting

siale-angilauSALT LAKE CITY -- A U.S. Marshal shot-and-killed an alleged gang member who charged at a witness testifying against him during a trial at the federal courthouse here.

Siale Angilau, 25, was facing trial on mafia-style racketeering charges. Witnesses in the courtroom told FOX 13 that an inmate witness, who apparently was a former member of Angilau's gang, was testifying about life inside the gang.

FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Mark Dressen said Angilau grabbed a pen from the table and rushed up to the witness.

"There were people yelling at him, telling him to stop and he just didn't stop," said Sara Josephson, who was in the courtroom. "He kept going forward with his furiousness."

Perry Caldwell said someone in the courtroom shouted "Get on the floor!" and people ducked behind benches. The FBI said a U.S. Marshal, assigned to provide security for the courtroom, was to the side of the witness and the jury and shot Angilau.

"He (Angilau) was falling as he was still shooting him," Caldwell told FOX 13. "When he was on the ground, I think he got shot like four times on the ground."

The FBI would not say how many times Angilau was shot.

"I believe he was shot in the chest multiple times," Dressen said.

Angilau was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead hours later. His attorney, Michael Langford, declined to comment except to express concern for his client.

The federal courthouse, a silver cube that stands out on the Salt Lake City skyline, has been open for only a week and Angilau's trial was the first jury trial in the new facility. It was locked down for hours. People inside the building were evacuated.

"We're all OK," U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells told FOX 13 as she was escorted out of the courthouse.

U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell, who presided over Angilau's trial, left the courthouse surrounded by security and personnel. She declined to comment to FOX 13.

Campbell immediately declared a mistrial after speaking to jurors who said they were "too shaken up" to continue. The trial had barely begun after a jury had been seated on Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah said.

Read Judge Campbell's mistrial order here

In an order issued late Monday, Judge Campbell extended the jury's term for the purposes of them receiving counseling.

Angilau was a member of the Tongan Crip Gang, which had been systematically prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office on racketeering charges. Angilau was the final defendant in the massive case, which stretches back to 2008.

Read the indictment against TCG members here

Federal prosecutors in Utah have targeted street gangs on RICO charges, labeling them as "organized crime" enterprises. Other defendants in the case have been convicted and sentenced to federal prisons across the nation, dismantling the gang's leadership.

Federal authorities would not identify the U.S. Marshal involved in the shooting, except to say it was under investigation. In a statement late Monday, federal authorities said courthouse security was not compromised, nor did they believe Angilau secreted a weapon into the building.

Caldwell said he believed the shooting was justified.

"I think it was warranted because I don't see how you could break up that fight that was happening," he said. "They were on each other. I do believe he (the U.S. Marshal) did the right thing."

The Utah State Prison in Draper and the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison have gone on lockdown as a security precaution because of the incident, according to the Utah Department of Corrections. Visitation is suspended until further notice.


  • Trish Ramirez

    Bob, this took place in a courtroom. It was a small space. The marshal was within feet of his murder victim. He chose to go for kill shots rather than to disable and preserve life.

    You are just a sanctimonious right-wing nut job who thinks that the only people in this nation deserving of Constitutional rights are the people like YOU.

    Nowhere in our Constitution does it say that American citizens lose their inalienable human rights because they violate an arbitrary law written by some corruptly elected legislator or an order spoken by some thug on the government’s payroll.

    This man was shot at virtually point-blank range over and over again – even after he was incapacitated and not moving on the ground. He was brutally murdered in front of dozens of witnesses, and his murderer will never be disciplined let alone charged. This situation did NOT have to be handled the way it was handled. You can try to tear me down all you want, but we all know that if this had happened to a good little white mormon boy who threw a tantrum in court the reaction from the public would have been a lot different. People are so judgmental and conditioned that they actually believe that the lives of people who believe or behave differently from themselves actually have less value.

    It’s a sickening attitude.


    Sure he was shot 8 times but it was a nice tight grouping. Good work Mr. U.S. Marshall – you did your job. Be on notice maggots….this is what you get when you charge a witness in a U.S. Courtroom..

  • Jebby B

    The TCG is one of the most violent gangs in Utah. If that was your loved on on the stand and they were being charged at by one of these people with an object to stab wouldn’t you want them protected? A marshal just can’t say “STOP!” then the gang member will obey. You’re very ignorant.

  • You Mam, are a moron...

    He was a criminal, he tried to attack someone, that is ground for use of leathal force… A dead criminal cannot commit any more crimes, plus one less gang member. I see this as a win across the board. You see it as, “oh, a poor criminal was shot, boo hoo”. Get over it, he made his choice…

  • Wow...

    So this is another case of an uneducated comment on something someone has no idea about. Trish think cops are out to get everyone… Guess what, people who try to attack people (including some lady taking drugs and trying to run over a cop), get shot, it’s justified…

  • Really?

    This scum bag has prior chargers for assaulting a federal officer and assault using a deadly weapon, and you are defending him? With a history like that, a shooting a very justified… I guess next time the officer should politely ask the gang member to stop attacking someone…

  • Trish Ramirez

    I don’t care what you people think or say.

    There’s no reason to shoot and kill a person you know is unarmed.

    Cops – marshals, whatever – usurp the Constitution when they shoot and kill unarmed American Citizens without charges or a trial.

    Our criminal justice system has been designed so that people will look at other people less than deserving of the human rights guaranteed to each one of us under the Constitution.

    Of course, to conservatives, the only Constitutional right that matters is the right to carry a gun.

    Yeah, these gangs are a problem. Yes, they are violent. But they are a product of what our society has become. A US citizen who is a gang member is still a US citizen.

    Capital punishment in this country isn’t supposed to be meted out by thugs in uniforms with guns – we are supposed to be beyond that.

    So the cop may have taken a beating trying to wrestle this guy away from the witness stand, so what? There were more cops in the courtroom. No one had to die today.

    The fact that someone did and it was ruled as justified is a representation of our crappy society as a whole.

  • Bitsko

    She read it. But she’s a liberal, and only sees what she wants to see.

    Liberals believe that Tazers have magical powers. This guy was shot several times in the chest and was still conscious. What would a Tazer do besides make him angrier?

    I guarantee if Trish were on the receiving end of an attack like that, and a pistol was handy, she’d start shooting.

  • You Mam, are a moron...

    She’s a bleed heart, she thinks that cops should tickle criminals or something. Trish, please read up on police policies and use of force, then spout your trash on here. That officer was completely in his right to use deadly force.

  • Just... Wow...

    I cannot believe you are defending a gang member. Also, I do not believe in “sins”, I believe in justice, and a dead bang member is justice…

  • You Sir, are a moron.

    “Citizen of Utah”, none of my family are criminals, this dirt bag was. I have no remorse for criminals, and it is bleeding hearts like you who want to put them back on the streets to offend again… The blood of every crime victim will be on your hands. The blood of the criminals will be on mine. Which is better? You kill the innocent, I kill the bad… Maybe you should look to your “god” some more…

  • JustCurious

    Real criminals are politicians running this country I assume you see that as a win situation too? One gang member doesn’t make a difference, they just multiply. Just saying I’m not a gang member.

  • You Sir, are a moron.

    He’s a criminal, and now he’s dead. It’s a win-win. He cannot commit more crimes, and hopefully some of his gang buddies will see what happens when they act up…

  • Trish Ramirez

    This is all I’m saying, Ness. That this situation was handled with way more violence and force than was necessary to neutralize the threat. There was no reason for anyone to die.

    As I stated before, this occurred in a COURTHOUSE. It was a highly secure location.

    The unfortunate victim of today’s police shooting could have been subdued without being killed.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Cops in this country are too quick to use deadly force when it is not needed.

  • You Sir, are a moron.

    Trish, so you are saying a cop needs to risk being stabbed to stop this scum bag? That bullet seemed to do the trick. Guess what the best part is? He won’t attack anyone anymore… The blood of innocent people killed my criminals is on your hands…

  • Wow...

    So you think of people serving to keep the law are thugs? The scum bag gang member was the thug. If he wasn’t a criminal, he wouldn’t have been there, and would still be alive. Your argument is invalid…

  • Iprintem

    Trish, you’d be surprised how lethal a pen can be in the hands of a criminal. More than one person has been killed with nothing more than a ball point pen,that is a really slow and painful death compared to several quick gun shots to the chest.

  • Bob

    Trish, you are not only wrong, you are dead wrong. You are certainly entiled to your opinion, but it is not shared by even the most liberal judges on the bench.

    This wouldn’t have happened if this criminal had been shackled to his chair, but then he would have complained about how the jury would assume he was guilty.

    This way he erased all doubt.

  • Bitsko

    Believe me, we’re all well aware that you don’t care what we think or say.

    The feeling is mutual.

  • Bitsko

    “… a conservative the only constitutional right that matters is the right to carry a gun.”

    Aside from the fact that you’re dead wrong, thank you for admitting that it’s a constitutional right. I’ll be sure to save this quote for future reference.

    Do you ever think before you type, or do you just let your fingers randomly punch keys?

  • SaneMom

    A pen is a weapon that can be used to stab someone to death. I feel sorry for the family only because that he (the deceased, not the marshall) made a stupid decision that caused his death. I would have felt worse if someone else was killed if the marshall had not acted.

  • Wow...

    Heartless for a crimal? He made all the desecions leading to his death, not me. He is heartless for being a scum bag grag member. Good riddance, one less gang member on the streets. That marshal is a hero!

  • Really...

    Keep supporting a criminal citizen of Utah… Those criminals will keep hurting the innocent while you defend them…

  • Citizen Of Utah

    Might as well shoot the witness while your at it right? Because it was a MEMBER which means she has blood on her hands too? Am I right or what? NO! Because everyone deserves to live until GOD says its time to go.

  • Wow...

    I dead criminal is better. He made the choice to be in a gang, be made the choice to attack someone in front of armed people. This is a win for every innocent person in Utah. One less scum bag running the streets…

  • Really...

    He was a gang member! Gangs kill people, therefore he is accessory to murders… I cannot believe you are even supporting this scum bag… The blood of innocent people killed my gangs is on your hands…

  • TONGAN not tcg

    Watching the news.. reading these comments. Only to notice none of this is FACT .. the only fact here is , is that the marshall shot and killed Siale Angilau. NOTHING ELSE WAS PROVED. Lies and negativity is all the media has to offer. I see no one mentioning the fact that the witness is an INMATE and WAS a MEMBER OF THE TCG, THAT’S A FACT. &I see you people defending the witness. But what you don’t realize is, is that the witness was EXACTLY the same (maybe even worse) than Siale. Just because he decided to snitch does NOT mean he does not have blood on his hands. You people are so cruel. In what SANE world is it ok to shoot a man in his chest MULTIPLE TIMES even AFTER he was down? Yeah I’m defending hime. But I am not defending criminals and crime. I’m defending him as a human. What is to become of this world when man kills man for his crimes..? What will become of that society made CRIMINAL? We will all be killing each other. For goodness sake he passed already, LET HIM REST IN PEACE. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL. RIP SIALE ANGILAU

  • Bitsko

    So why don’t you volunteer to train the Marshals from your voluminous experience? Or are you just talk?

  • SaneMom

    I could have worded that better….I feel sorry for the family for the grief that their son has probably caused them. I don’t feel sorry for the deceased. He made the bed that he lies in. It is because of people like him that many of my female friends and I have learned to shoot and now are armed when driving alone.

  • Casey Anderson

    Most of your understanding of the laws appears to be horribly false or misleading. As some one who has been through the courts for assault. I can say with total confidence that you may NOT do 99% of what you claimed in your sentence.

    What you can do is exert only enough force to remove yourself and other loved ones from the situation. The days of being able to pull a gun and defend yourself over anything you feel is suitable are LONG gone.

    In my case i opened a door without realizing someone was standing on the other side of the door. I had been in an argument with this person earlier, and they felt i had done this on purpose. The person in question also happened to be holding a knife, and trying to hurt herself at the time. The door knocked the knife from her hand. So it possibly also saved her life.

    NONE of this mattered. All that mattered was she felt i had done it on purpose and the judge believed her over me. The end result $3400 in fines and 2 months of anger management…..The fine was reduced to 2000 including the cost of the anger management courses. The judge himself actually told me to my face. If you save someone from a burning building, but hit their arm or head on the way out the door. It is assault, and they can press charges……. Moral of all of this…you only have the right to exert enough violence to leave a situation in the state of Utah.

  • Bob

    This violent career criminal is a classic case of how Karma works. His actions influenced his fate. “Deserve” is the wrong description Citizen Of Utah. The appropriate description is “consequence”.

  • TONGAN not tcg

    The one on the stand wasn’t just ANYBODY .. it was a criminal too. And what? you guys are defending him because he was being an informant (aka snitch). He is still a CRIMINAL not an innocent by stander.

  • seriously

    The witness was also a TCG member who has also been in that way of life for many years. Being a snitch would probably reduce their time bt what life would they go back to with having a record like that. No job and the last resort would probably lead the witness back to da same life theyve known. Maybe not in the same gang but same life-style. Just back to the gang life. They killed one to put another back onto the streets. Its just a matter of time

  • TONGAN not tcg

    No . Karma would be him getting shot and killed by another gang. and consequence would be going to prison OR again, getting killed by another gang member.

  • TONGAN not tcg

    All sins are the same. No matter what. We are all sinners. Equally. Its what you do with it that matters. Whether or not you forgive yourself or others. And when you repent.

  • love97

    it doesnt matter what your “sins” include. SIN is SIN!! doesnt matter what it is ! or who commits it.

  • TONGAN not tcg

    Killing is still killing. REGARDLESS. & I never said criminals should be put back on the streets. they should stay locked up. But they don’t need to be shot down to their deaths by man. ESPECIALLY a cop/marshall.


    We are all sinners. Fall back!

  • Bob

    Give it a rest TONGAN not tcg. The man on the stand was a witness, and the consequence for attacking him was getting himself shot. No doubt about it, this was a classic case of Karma.

  • love97

    You have no idea who was on the stand do you BOB? no you dont. you dont know anything about him. you dont know anything about siale angilau either. they were both gang bangers. just because one was willing to snitch on the other. doesnt make everything he did in the past right! TONGAN not TCG. i totally agree with you. appreciate your defense :)

  • Bob

    Mr. Angilau devoted himself to a lifetime of crime and violence. Some people devote their lives to helping others and making this world a better place while others concentrate on destroying and tearing down.

    Which kind was Mr. Angilau?

  • Really...

    He was SCUM. All gang members are SCUM! Glad your cousin is dead, one less scum gang member to torment the streets… Good riddance

  • Trish Ramirez

    If I were on the receiving end of an attack like that, I wouldn’t have someone in a secure courtroom setting with armed guards all around and plenty of trained back-up at my disposal.

    This man did not have to die for the situation to be de-escalated.

    That marshal made a conscious choice to murder a man because he could.

    He could have stopped the attack without aiming for vital organs.

    Why not shoot his knees out?

    Shoot his hand holding the pen?

    He chose to kill someone who didn’t have to die.

    Cops should not be able to murder with impunity.

  • Bitsko

    And you’re qualified to make such ridiculous suggestions because of your extensive experience with firearms?

    You watch way too much TV. I’d attempt to explain to you the absurd fallacy of your views if I thought you were capable of understanding me. But until you have experience with handguns I’d be wasting my words.

  • Bob

    Trish Ramirez asks “Why not shoot his knees out?” That might work if you could get the criminal to stand still long enough for you to do that. Sounds awful cruel (and impractical) to me.

    I think we have a winner in the Darwin Awards category.

  • Bitsko

    “For the wages of sin is death….” Romans 6:23

    One fewer sinner for me to pay for. I have no problem with that.

  • Bob

    Mr. Angilau should have given some thought to his family before he disgraced their name. The typical criminal mentality is to blame others for the consequences of their actions.

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