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Utah Judge Releases Dramatic Video Of Fatal Courtroom Shooting; Dismisses Excessive Force Claim
Defendant Siale Angilau attempted to attack a witness at his 2014 trial with a pen before a U.S. marshall fires shots.
Dramatic footage from a fatal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City, Utah was released by a federal judge on Monday. The short, but intense clip, shows defendant Siale Angilau trying to attack a witness at his 2014 trial with a pen. A deputy U.S. marshal, who is only identified a Jane Doe in court documents, fires four shots at him, killing him, KSL in Salt Lake City reported.
"Drop the pen. Drop the pen out of your hand," an officer yells at Angilau after he has been shot. Angilau (pictured) is no longer visible at that point. He is behind the witness stand.
The Utah Media Coalition fought for a year for Dowdell to release the footage, according to KUTV in Salt Lake City. Audio of the shooting was released previously.
U.S. District Judge John Dowdell, the judge who released the footage, dismissed a lawsuit from the Angilau family. It claimed that Angilau was killed by excessive force.
"The video completely contradicts plaintiffs’ argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself over the witness stand while making a stabbing motion with a pen in hand," Dowdell wrote, according to KSL. "Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witness. His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds."
The FBI also found the shooting to be justified.
Angilau family's attorney Robert Sykes argued that the witness was already out of danger by the time shots were fired.
"Those last three shots were all after he's been shot once down on the ground in the back, and that's the problem I have with this case. There was no necessity to use force," he told KSL.
[Photo: Salt Lake County Jail]