Lost one of Honolulu's finest


March 5, 2003, 04:38 PM
Police officer killed in struggle with fugitive


By Scott Ishikawa and Zenaida Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writers

KAPOLEI — A plainclothes Honolulu police officer was shot and killed yesterday while trying to arrest a fugitive he and another officer confronted in an ice cream parlor in a busy suburban shopping center.

Officer Glen Gaspar, 40, who had served on the Police Department for 12 years, was shot several times as he and another officer wrestled on the ground with the man they were following, Shane W. Mark.

The plainclothes officers had been staking out Kapolei Shopping Center for Mark, 28, who was wanted on a warrant for investigation of attempted murder in connection with a Feb. 1 shooting in Moanalua.

"I thought it was a bunch of guys fighting in the store, but it wasn't just a bunch of guys," said Portia Abraham, assistant manager at the Baskin-Robbins where the shooting occurred. "One was armed."

The two officers wrestled the man to the ground before he pulled out a gun and fired three times, Abraham said. The three workers at the store hid in the bathroom. No customers were in the store.

" We were just tripping out," Abraham said, trembling. "It all happened so quick."

Gaspar was taken to St. Francis Medical Center West in critical condition just after the 1 p.m. shooting. Fellow officers, family and friends quickly gathered at the hospital, where several hours later police announced Gaspar had died of his wounds.

"Our community lost a hero today," Police Chief Lee Donohue said. "This is not a good day for HPD and not a good day for Glen's family."

Gaspar was the 37th Honolulu police officer killed in the line of duty and the first fatally shot since Troy Barboza was shot at his home by a drug dealer on Oct. 22, 1987.

Police took Mark to the Kapolei police substation, but later took him to St. Francis. A hospital spokeswoman last night said he was in serious condition but did not provide any other details. Donohue said Mark had no visible injuries.

Mark is expected to be booked at the main police station today and charged with murder, police said.

By 4:30 p.m. yesterday, a group of about 20 people were standing outside the front entrance to the St. Francis emergency room, while a group of about five to seven waited by the side entrance.

People arriving at the hospital greeted each other with tearful embraces. Uniformed officers patted each other on the backs. People talked on cell phones, and everyone wore somber expressions.

After an afternoon news conference at police headquarters, Donohue went downstairs to talk to his watch officers after the grim reminder about the dangers of their job.

"I told them that unfortunately when you take on this job, when you put on this uniform, that you may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice," Donohue said. "We know that when we take the job and accept it, but still you hope it never happens."

Under Hawai'i law, a charge of first-degree murder — the state's highest criminal charge — is brought when the victim is a law enforcement official. Conviction brings a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

Mark, whose last known address was in Salt Lake, is a career criminal with 14 convictions, including auto theft, burglary, theft and misdemeanor assault, according to information provided by the Hawai'i Criminal Justice Data Center.

Last November, he was released from the Halawa correctional facility after completing a five-year sentence for car theft and burglary.

On Feb. 5, police issued a CrimeStoppers bulletin that Mark was wanted in connection with a Feb. 1 shooting at the Assembly of God Church at 3440 Moanalua Road. Police said a man was shot in the thigh during a dispute that arose over the sale of a video camera.

Police received a tip yesterday morning that Mark was expected to visit the Kapolei Shopping Center off Farrington Highway. Gaspar and another plainclothes officer, who was not identified, spotted Mark and followed him into the Baskin-Robbins.

The officers confronted Mark, identified themselves and asked him to step outside, Donohue said.

Donohue said Mark reached for a handgun tucked in his waistband and fired several shots as the officers wrestled him to the ground.

"But as everyone got off the floor, one of our officers was still down," he said.

No other shots were fired and Mark was quickly subdued, police said.

Melanie Asuncion, manager at GNC six doors down from Baskin-Robbins, heard the shots. But it wasn't until she saw a man running, she said, that she realized what happened.

"I screamed, 'Lock the doors! Lock the doors!' " Asuncion said.

Bing Estacio, a sales clerk for Kapolei Gold Mart on the other side of Baskin-Robbins, said: "I saw only these three guys with aloha shirts going inside Baskin-Robbins. I just heard in a few minutes, pak-pak. ... I closed our doors and then got inside our office to hide."

Donohue declined to say whether Gaspar was wearing a bulletproof vest, which is required in most high-risk situations.

Department memorial services and private services have not yet been scheduled, Donohue said. In tribute, the HPD flag will be flown at half-staff at all police stations until after Gaspar's funeral, and officers' badges will be covered by a black mourning band.

Before yesterday, the last Honolulu police officer killed on duty was Dannygriggs Padayao, 48, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver on April 30, 2001, as he was placing flares at the scene of a crash near Waikane.

Advertiser staff writers Catherine E. Toth and Curtis Lum contributed to this report.

Condolensces to his personal family and his HPD family, and thanks for his service to the community.

What I fail to understand about this incident is how a guy with 14 convictions got a firearm. No, actually I do. When you
outlaw firearms, only outlaws will have firearms.


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March 5, 2003, 04:51 PM
God Speed brother.

Not to second guess, but we would have used SWAT to take that guy down, based on his criminal history and what the warrant was for.

March 5, 2003, 05:23 PM
Rest in Peace, mahalo nui loa for your sacrifice.

March 5, 2003, 07:23 PM
This is a lie.

It HAS to be a lie.

After all, there is only one civilian carry permit (the HPD Armorer, as the story goes, since the HPD Chief says he pulled the permit he gave his sister), there is NO WAY that ANY Hawaiian subject was carrying a gun in public.

Just no way.

Just no way a 14-time career criminal would be caught carrying an illegal gun, after all...that would be illegal! The horror...


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