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Man fatally shot at Chinatown Gateway Plaza

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Honolulu police officers investigated a fatal shooting at the Chinatown Gateway Plaza on Tuesday.
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    Chinatown Gateway Plaza
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A member of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force fatally shot a man, wanted for violating probation on a weapons charge, while trying to arrest him Tuesday morning at a public parking garage in Chinatown, the Marshals Service said.

The shooting occurred at 11:31 a.m. Police secured Chinatown Gateway Plaza, a residential building at 1031 Nuu­anu Ave., closing the public parking garage while homicide detectives investigated the shooting.

Emergency Medical Services got a call at 11:35 a.m., and paramedics found the victim dead, EMS spokes­woman Shayne Enright said.

The Marshals Service identified the victim as Bruce Zalonka.

Police said the victim had brandished a firearm before the shooting.

Police classified the case as an unattended death.

U.S. Marshal Gervin Miya­moto for the District of Hawaii said the task force was acting on a tip that a vehicle belonging to the man who was wanted for a probation violation was at the Chinatown Gateway Plaza. The task force discovered the man’s van with him inside it in the basement of the parking garage, he said.

As the eight-person team approached the vehicle, they heard noises and yelling from inside the vehicle, Miya­moto said. The man refused to get out of the van, so they entered the vehicle and tried to place him under arrest, Miya­moto said.

When he resisted arrest, “they Tased him, but the Tase didn’t affect him,” Miya­moto said. “It looked like he was reaching for

a firearm, and that’s when he got shot.”

Zalonka was in his 40s and had 15 convictions and 60 arrests, ranging from resisting arrest to drugs and firearms, Miya­moto said.

The deputy marshal who fired the gun is a veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service with more than 10 years of service, he said. The Marshals Service is following protocol, which is to place the deputy on administrative leave, Miya­moto said.

The Honolulu Police Department had a warrant out for the man’s arrest for probation violation for a weapons charge, Deputy Chief Gary Yandell of the U.S. Marshals Service in Hawaii said at a news conference. Yandell said a task force-involved shooting occurred a year or two ago when a suspect shot at officers during a similar situation on Maui.

The task force assembled Tuesday included other federal, state and local law enforcement personnel.

No one else was injured, Miya­moto said.

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Star-Advertiser reporters Gary Kubota and Dan Nakaso contributed to this report.

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