Salt Lake City: A US marshal shot and killed a defendant on Monday in a new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City after the man rushed at a witness with a pen, authorities said.
Defendant Siale Angilau, 25, died in hospital after being shot in the chest, FBI spokesman Mark Dressen said. Under standard procedures, Mr Angilau was not restrained in the courtroom, the FBI said.
US marshal shoots defendant in court
A defendant in a court case in Salt Lake City has died after a marshall shot him several times as he attempted to attack a witness during the trial.
Perry Caldwell, who was in the courtroom with his adult daughter, said Mr Angilau was shot several times as he lunged toward the witness stand and tried to strike the witness.
At least six shots were fired, he said.
The witness, who was not injured, appeared to be in his mid-20s and was testifying about gang initiation, Mr Caldwell said. The person was not identified.
Mr Caldwell and his daughter were in court to support his mother, Sandra Keyser, who was punched in the face during a holdup in 2002 and was scheduled to testify.
"It was kind of traumatising," Sara Jacobson, Mr Caldwell's daughter, said of the shooting.
Mr Angilau was one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2010 accusing gang members of conspiracy, assault, robbery and weapons offenses.
Prosecutors said Mr Angilau robbed convenience stores in Salt Lake City and assaulted clerks on five occasions from 2002 to 2007. A clerk was shot in the final robbery, according to the indictment.
Mr Angilau was accused of assault on a federal officer with a weapon and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence on August 11, 2007.
Mr Angilau was the last defendant in the case to stand trial, US attorney's office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said.
A mistrial was declared after the shooting by US District Judge Tena Campbell. The order said members of the jury were visibly shaken and upset.
Mr Angilau's attorney, Michael Langford, declined to take questions as he left the courthouse.
Mr Angilau was in Utah state prison from September 2007 until he was handed over to US marshals on Friday, said Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams.
He was arrested in August 2007 for a probation violation and pleaded guilty a year later to obstruction of justice and failure to respond to a command of a police officer, court records show.
The courthouse was temporarily closed after the shooting and later reopened.