Tarpon Springs, Florida Police Officer Charles Kondek Fatally Shot in Line of Duty
A day after the nation was shocked by the ambush assassination of two New York City police officers, a former NYPD and current Tarpon Springs, Florida officer was fatally shot while on duty.
The Tampa Bay Times reports Officer Charles Kondek, 45, was responding to a call at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning when he was gunned down near the Villa Plumosa condominiums in the 100 block of Grand Blvd. in Tarpon Springs, 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Tampa.
Kondek, an 18-year police veteran and married father of five, was shot with a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. A suspect identified as 23-year-old transient Marco Antonio Parilla Jr. was arrested after fleeing the scene in a white Hyundai and crashing into a pole at the intersection of Athens and Cross Streets.
Bay News 9 reports the mortally wounded officer was rushed to Florida Hospital North Pinellas, where he later died.
WFTS reports Parilla apologized when asked why he shot Kondek.
“I apologize to the family,” Parilla said. “That was not my intention.”
Kondek’s death followed the Saturday afternoon murders of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a 28-year-old mentally ill man who shot his ex-girlfriend in her Baltimore apartment before traveling to New York to put “wings on pigs” in apparent retaliation for officer killings of unarmed black men Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Brinsley then ended his own life.