Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

Video released of fatal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City (Warning: Graphic Content)

Video released of fatal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City (Warning: Graphic Content)

A federal judge has released the four-year-old courtroom video of the intense moment a defendant is fatally shot as he attacks a witness in Salt Lake City.

Someone is heard yelling: "Whoa, whoa, whoa", but before any officers could react, Angilau sprinted toward the witness and leaped with his right arm cocked overhead with the pen in hand.

Siale Angilau, 25, is seen charging towards the stand inside a Utah federal courthouse before a USA marshal fires four rounds at close range.

The man jumped back to avoid being hit as Angilau fell feet-first over the front of the witness stand and the unidentified U.S. marshal fires his gun.

The video is pixelated to obscure the judge, officers and others in the courtroom. US District Judge John Dowdell decided to make the video public after he dismissed a lawsuit brought by Angilau's family claiming excessive force.

An FBI investigation found the shooting was justified by law.

"Having carefully reviewed the video of Mr. Angilau's swift flight from counsel table, his vault over the witness stand with pen in hand, and his attempt to violently attack the shackled witness, the court has little difficulty determining that (Jane) Doe's use of force to immediately stop Angilau's attack was objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances", Dowdell wrote. He said the video shows that the marshal "panicked" and should have used other methods to subdue Angilau. He said the witness got out of the way and wasn't in danger by the time the shots were fired.

"There was no need to use deadly force", Sykes said.

Sykes said he's glad the video was made public, but the Angilau family wants justice.

Angilau's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the shooting was "particularly unreasonable, reckless and constitutionally excessive".

The Angilau family attorney, Bob Skyes, offers a contradictory point of view.

The media coalition including the AP fought for several years with government attorneys to have the video released publicly, arguing that the shooting raised questions about police use of force and upholding the principle of open courts. 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.

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