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Published: Monday, 7/15/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledoan slain in central city

Man reportedly shot, killed by girlfriend’s estranged husband

‘He didn’t deserve to die the way he died,' said Pamela Jackson, 41, victim Michael Jackson’s adoptive mother. ‘I nurtured and raised this child.’ ‘He didn’t deserve to die the way he died,' said Pamela Jackson, 41, victim Michael Jackson’s adoptive mother. ‘I nurtured and raised this child.’
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Toledo native Michael Jackson, 20, was shot and killed on Sunday while visiting his girlfriend’s central-city home.

At 3:03 a.m., police received a 911 call from Amber Hayes, 27, who reported that her husband, David Zielinski, had shot Mr. Jackson at 1605 W. Central Ave.

Mr. Zielinski, 33, had been estranged from Ms. Hayes since June 25, only two and a half weeks after they were married on June 7.

She began dating Mr. Jackson last week after meeting him in an online forum on June 26, she said.

The couple had finished watching a movie with friends when they returned to Ms. Hayes’ home at about 2 a.m., she said. She heard loud footsteps on the stairs, and Mr. Zielinski allegedly entered the bedroom at about 2:30 a.m., firing five shots at Mr. Jackson.

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“[David] broke into my house, and he started shooting,” Ms. Hayes said after filing a police report. “I tried to pull Michael off the bed. I tried to save him.”

Mr. Zielinski then attacked Ms. Hayes, grabbing and attempting to strangle her, she said. After hitting Ms. Hayes in the forehead with the blunt end of a knife, Mr. Zielinski forced his wife to enter her car so they could meet up with his friends, Ms. Hayes said.

“He said, ‘You're my wife. Till death do us part, and that’s what it’s gonna be,’ ” Ms. Hayes recalled. “He was going to shoot me and himself if the cops came. He said, ‘I have two clips and I won’t miss.’ ”

But once Mr. Zielinski realized he had left his knife in Ms. Hayes’ bedroom, he and his wife re-entered her home in search of the weapon, which he feared would be used as evidence in court, she said.

After Ms. Hayes found the knife, she and her husband re-entered her car. Mr. Zielinski honked the horn at his truck, where he may have believed his friend was sitting, Ms. Hayes said. When he realized the truck was empty, he exited the car, giving his wife a chance to escape.

As Ms. Hayes drove away, her husband fired shots that shattered her front passenger and rear windows, she told police. Her legs are scarred from broken glass, and a bullet grazed her left shoulder, Ms. Hayes said.

Michael Jackson, 20, was found deceased in the bedroom of his home on Central Avenue in Toledo. Michael Jackson, 20, was found deceased in the bedroom of his home on Central Avenue in Toledo.
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Police found Ms. Hayes at Hill Avenue and Fearing Boulevard. Additional units at 1605 W. Central Ave. found Mr. Jackson dead. He had been shot multiple times, according to Toledo police.

“I think it’s horrible. He didn’t deserve to die the way he died,” said Pamela Jackson, 41, Mr. Jackson’s adoptive mother. “I nurtured and raised this child. He was my first child.”

Ms. Jackson adopted her son from Lucas County Children Services when he was 5 years old.

Mr. Jackson had reactive attachment disorder, an uncommon social condition stemming from lack of bonding with parents or caregivers in early childhood, Ms. Jackson said.

According to Ms. Jackson, her son was pulling his life together and preparing to register for his GED exam.

Friends would call him Blind Side, after the tall and kindly football player in the film starring Sandra Bullock.

“He could eat and be hungry half an hour later,” Ms. Jackson said. “He’s a big kid at heart. I used to call him a gentle giant.”

Toledo police have issued a warrant for Mr. Zielinski on a charge of aggravated murder. His last known address is in Swanton Township.

Mr. Zielinski was last seen in a 1990 white Ford pickup truck, license plate FXG-2248, with a black tail gate emblazoned with the word “BEAST” in white spray paint. The vehicle has a black cap and hand-painted flames on the side.

Those who have information on Mr. Zielinski’s whereabouts should contact Sgt. Tim Noble of Toledo Police Investigative Services at 419-245-3142.

This is the 14th homicide in Toledo and the 15th in metro Toledo in 2013.

Contact Rosa Nguyen at: rnguyen@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.

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