US Marshals fatally shoot career criminal in Chinatown

US Marshals fatally shoot career criminal in Chinatown
Bruce Zalonka
Bruce Zalonka

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal deputy marshals shot a man described as a “career criminal” who pulled a handgun as they tried to arrest him in the parking garage of the Chinatown Gateway Plaza apartment building at Nuuanu and Hotel Streets around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"We were conducting a joint fugitive investigation, the Hawaii Fugitive Task Force, along with HPD and our other members, looking for a probation violator," said Gary Yandell, chief deputy U.S. Marshal for the Hawaii district.

The officers were trying to arrest the man for a probation violation on a weapons charge, Yandell said.

The shooting happened on the third level of the basement parking garage, sources said.

The man refused to stop for the officers, sources said, so they Tased him and then he pulled a 9 millimeter handgun out as officers approached him, so they fired multiple gunshots at him, killing him, sources said.

Sources identified the dead man as Bruce Zalonka, a 46-year old career criminal with 60 arrests on his record and 15 convictions for everything from drug dealing and theft to resisting arrest.

People familiar with the investigation say the man's handgun had its serial number scratched off, so it could be a stolen weapon.

People who park on the same level where the man was shot couldn't believe what happened.

“Scary, scary event, you know? We're glad we weren't there when it actually happened," said Alden Ching, who parked in the building to grab coffee nearby.

Sources said members of the public were not close by in the parking structure when the shots rang out.

Police closed the entrance to the normally busy public Chinatown Gateway parking structure for more than two hours during the investigation.

"We're trying to protect the process and do a good investigation, a good thorough investigation. We're keeping in mind that people do live in here and we want to try to get them in an out so we'll do the best that we can," said Capt. Benjamin Mahi of the Honolulu Police Department.

Police re-opened the parking structure just before 2 p.m.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.