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Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

It took about five seconds from the time Siale Angilau grabbed a pen from his defense attorney's table for him to run across the federal courtroom floor and sail headfirst into the witness stand, where he was fatally shot by a USA marshal. Dowdell also ordered the release of the courtroom video, which had been the subject of a lengthy court battle involving media outlets, including Fox 13, over freedom of information and the First Amendment. 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.

"Drop the pen out of your hand", an officer yells at Angilau after he has been shot.

Along with making the video public, U.S. District Judge John Dowdell dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Angilau family claiming excessive force in the shooting.

Family attorney Bob Skyes unsuccessfully argued that the U.S. Marshall "panicked" and could've used another method to subdue Angilau.

He points out that Angilau was already down on the ground for the final three shots and that a courtroom full of officers could have stopped him to stop him before he harmed anyone with the pen.

The witness jumps back as Angilau falls over the front of the witness stand.

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'Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witnesses. "His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds". She said the Federal Bureau of Investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing and that a review board found the use of force was within agency policy.

Their attorney, Robert Sykes, claims the witness was not in danger after he moved out of the way and the shooting was therefore unnecessary.

The video is pixelated to obscure the judge, officers and others in the courtroom. He said it is up to the them to decide if they want to appeal the judge's ruling dismissing their lawsuit. Dowdell sided with Cleary's order Friday. The agency declined comment Monday about the release of the video.

He was in court after being one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment that accused gang members of conspiracy, assault, robbery and weapons offences. He was the last of the defendants to stand trial, with other gang members having received prison sentences ranging from 10 to 30 years.

Before he died, the incident prompted US District Judge Tena Campbell, who was hearing the case, to declare a mistrial.