Florida suspect shot police officer then ran him over – USA TODAY
Tarpon Springs, Florida, police officer Charles “Charlie K” Kondek was shot and killed while responding to a noise complaint. Police say Marco Parilla Jr. was trying to avoid arrest when he shot, then ran over, officer Kondek.
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A man trying to avoid arrest shot a Florida police officer and then ran him over early Sunday, killing the officer, police said.
The Tarpon Springs Police Department said officer Charles “Charlie K” Kondek was shot and killed Sunday while responding to a call regarding a noise complaint about 2 a.m.
Investigators say the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., was banging on doors in the community about 25 miles northwest of Tampa, looking for a neighbor who he said “dimed him out” to police.
When Parilla saw Kondek, he fired multiple rounds at the officer, striking him once above his bullet-proof vest.
The shooting did not appear to have any connection to the ambush-killings of two New York police officers a day earlier.
“We know we have the right guy in custody,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. “This guy knew what he was doing, he killed a cop and he needs to be held accountable for that.”
Parilla was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Police say Parilla and a woman arrived at a home on Grand Boulevard. While Parilla was banging on doors, a neighbor asked the woman, who remained in the car, to lower the music in the car. When she refused, the neighbor called 911 with a noise complaint. Detectives said the woman then began to back out of the driveway.
Kondek arrived and exited his vehicle. Detectives said Parilla walked toward him and opened fire. Kondek managed to return fire just before falling to the ground.
Parilla ordered the woman out of the vehicle, took the wheel and as he fled the scene, ran over Kondek. Parilla fled in the vehicle. Tarpon Springs Police engaged in a brief pursuit before Parilla crashed into a pole and then into a parked vehicle.
Parilla fled on foot and was apprehended short time later.
Kondek was taken to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Parilla served more than two years in prison for several offenses, including drug charges, and was released in March. He was listed as a fugitive for violating his probation. It wasn’t immediately clear what the violation was.
The sheriff said Parilla told investigators that when he saw the officer he “felt like a caged rat” and didn’t want to go back to prison.
“I apologize to the family” of the officer, Parilla told media outlets while being escorted to jail. “That was not my intention.”
Marco Parilla Jr., the man police say fatally shot and ran over a Florida police officer, apologized to Officer Charles Kondek’s family as he walked into the jail.
Kondek served the city of Tarpon Springs as a sworn law enforcement officer for 17 years, many of which were on the midnight shift. Originally from New York, he previously served for more than five years as a New York City police officer before moving to Florida.
In a statement released Sunday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “We are saddened by the death of Officer Charles Kondek who was killed in the line of duty early this morning. Ann and I pray that God provides comfort to his loved ones and all those who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also released a statement Sunday. It read in part, “Earlier today my wife and I were saddened to hear of the killing of Tarpon Springs police officer Charles Kondek, just hours after the nation was shocked by the horrific murder of two NYPD officers. These killings are stark and somber reminders of the risks our men and women in law enforcement take each and every day to keep us and our families safe.”
Contributing: The Associated Press.