Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Police responded Monday, April 21, 2014, to a report of a shooting at the new federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.
Coach: Man shot at Utah courthouse once had promising future
Courts » U.S. marshal shot defendant when he charged witness with a sharp object.
First Published Apr 22 2014 11:44 am • Last Updated Apr 22 2014 10:48 pm

Siale Angilau was a likable guy who once had a promising future, according to a former high school football coach.

But the 5-foot-11, 230-pound Angilau — who became a career criminal, according to prosecutors — was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal on Monday morning when he tried to attack a witness with a pen or pencil during a gang-related racketeering trial in federal court.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The witness was detailing how the Tongan Crip Gang (TCG) recruited members and operated throughout the Salt Lake Valley when Angilau went at him, according to courtroom spectators.

Angilau died at a hospital from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest at about 2 p.m. Monday.

Court documents allege Angilau and fellow gang members took part in a number of armed robberies and assaults over a five-year period.

But years before he was charged with racketeering or had spent time in prison, Angilau was an outstanding prep football player at East High School, said former coach Aaron Whitehead — now at Olympus. Whitehead said Angilau was not only a dominating nose guard, but also "as a person, as a kid, he was great."

"He was very likable," Whitehead added. "He was very coachable."

Whitehead said he lost touch with Angilau, although he was aware of his troubles with the law.

"I am heartbroken for his family," Whitehead said, "because he’s got a great family."

Angilau’s attorney, Michael Langford, said Tuesday that he spent a lot of time with his client as he defended him over four years during the racketeering case.

story continues below
story continues below

Monday marked the first day of testimony in what was scheduled to be a two-week trial.

"[Angilau] always treated my defense team and me with the utmost respect," Langford told The Salt Lake Tribune. "It was a tragic event for everyone involved. My thoughts right now are with Siale’s loved ones and everyone else affected by this."

There was an outpouring of support for Angilau from the Pacific Islander community across social media. Hashtags like #RIPSialeAngilau circulated on Twitter.

"Heart is aching and heavy ... in disbelief that I’ve lost my nephew so tragically in so little time," Koli Pilivi posted.

Another Angilau is currently facing serious criminal charges in state court. Siale Angilau’s younger brother, 21-year-old Vilisoni Tuino Angilua, was charged last year in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder for the alleged gang-related shooting of 19-year-old Sione Fakatoufifita outside a Salt Lake City Maverik store.

On April 13, 2013, Vilisoni Angilua and other gang members allegedly pursued Fakatoufifita through the Glendale area, until they arrived at the store at 1680 S. Redwood Road, where police allege that Vilisoni Angilua found Fakatoufifita and shot him.

No trial dates have been set in that case.

Despite Monday’s violent episode at Salt Lake City’s new federal court building — which opened for business at 400 South and West Temple on April 14 — it appeared to be business as usual there Tuesday. The judge who presided over Angilau’s trial was back to work and no extra security officers were visibly present.

The U.S. marshal who shot Angilau was on paid administrative leave.

Siale Angilau’s trial was being heard in U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell’s courtroom before a jury of 12, plus two alternates — the first trial held in the new facility.

Siale Angilau was among 17 TCG members and associates indicted on racketeering charges in May 2010.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.