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2 Utah prisons on lockdown after federal courtroom shooting

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Posted at 7:20 PM, Apr 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-21 23:33:08-04

DRAPER -- Several hours after a gang member was shot and killed during his trial Monday, two Utah prisons went into lockdown.

Convicted gang members are serving time in Draper and Gunnison. Concerned about potential attacks, corrections officials made the decision for the safety of staff, inmates and the facility, a spokesperson said.

It all comes after unexpected actions by a long-time gang member with a lengthy criminal history. Siale Angilau's life in the Tongan Crip Gang dates back to his early teenage years, according to a federal indictment.

Prosecutors say Angilau and Tongan Crip Gang members targeted Salt Lake City 7-11 stores as part of boosting the gang's reputation and enterprise.

"Just very violent at the time, very scared," said an anonymous 7-11 clerk who planned on testifying against Angilau Monday.

The clerk said after gang members stole merchandise from the store she was working at in 2002, Angilau didn't hesitate to get violent.

"(He) didn't hurt me, I was behind the counter on the phone," she said. "He hurt the woman who ran out the door. He hit her in the face. She did come in and had a contusion to the head."

The crimes went on for years, the indictment says.

Similar crimes happened in 2004, 2006 and 2007. In July 2007, while robbing a 7-11, Angilau allegedly shot a clerk and a couple weeks later, prosecutors say he shot two U.S. Marshals.

"He was arrested in August 2007 on a probation violation," said Brooke Adams, public information officer with the Utah Department of Corrections.

Angilau had been at the Draper prison for years but could've spent decades behind bars if convicted on federal racketeering charges.

Monday's courthouse shooting happened just a couple hours before that clerk was scheduled to testify.

"Oh my gosh. yeah at this point, I'm very scared right now," she said.

We knocked on the door at a Kearns home but Angilau's relatives had no comment for FOX 13 and by Monday afternoon, the Department of Corrections ordered the lockdown.

"What that means is that means is the inmates are not allowed out of their cells and we've done this for the safety of the staff, inmates and the facility," Adams said.

Prisoners also can't have visitors, which is unusual, prison officials say.
They'll be evaluating hour by hour whether to lift that.