Defendant Siale Angilau was listening to a witness describe gang initiation rituals on Monday when authorities said he grabbed a pen, rushed toward the witness and lunged at him.
A U.S. marshal opened fire on Angilau — a 25-year-old “Tongan Crip” gang member known on the street as “C-Down” — shooting him several times in front of shocked jurors, lawyers and courtroom watchers. He died hours later.
The shooting turned a new and secure federal courthouse in Salt Lake City that opened its doors just one week ago into a site of alarm.
Nobody else was hurt, but those in the courtroom were stunned by the sudden turn of events. A mistrial was declared, with U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell saying in her order that jurors were visibly shaken.
The witness, who was not injured, was testifying about gang initiation. The person was not identified.
Angilau was shot in the chest and died at a hospital, the FBI said in a news release. Under standard procedures, Angilau was not restrained in the courtroom, the FBI said. He was one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2010.
— Associated Press
A federal prosecutor confirmed the existence Monday of the FBI investigation that has thrown the Sept. 11 war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo into disarray.
The FBI has opened a preliminary criminal investigation “that involves, at least in part, classified information,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor Sanchez said in a court motion.
The prosecutor did not disclose the nature or focus of the investigation. But he said it does not concern the release of written communications from accused terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, contrary to what defense lawyers said last week during a pretrial hearing at the U.S. base in Cuba.
Campoamor said he would provide details of the investigation in a sealed filing to the military judge presiding over the trial of Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay prisoners in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
— Associated Press