Pinellas County, Florida -- The community of Tarpon Springs is mourning the loss of TSPD officer, 45-year-old Charles "Charlie K" Kondek, who was shot and killed on Sunday morning.
According to investigators, Officer Kondek responded to a noise complaint at 199 Grand Boulevard at about 2:00 a.m. The suspect was banging on residential doors.
Investigators say the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., and a female companion arrived at the house and pulled into the driveway. The woman remained in the vehicle, while Parilla began knocking on multiple doors looking for someone who he said had "dimed him out" which is a violation of his probation.
Detectives say a neighbor asked the woman to lower the music in the car. When she refused, the neighbor called 911 with a noise complaint. Detectives say the woman then began to back out of the driveway.
Officer Kondek arrived on scene and exited his vehicle. Detectives say Parilla walked towards the officer and opened fire. Officer Kondek managed to return fire just before falling to the ground.
Parilla then ordered the woman out of the vehicle, took the wheel and as he fled the scene, ran over Officer Kondek. Detectives say that this occurred as another individual who lived at the Grand Boulevard address opened fire on Parilla, because he thought Parilla was looking for him. 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 at Athens and Cross Street.
Following the crash, Parilla exited the vehicle, ran off, and was apprehended shortly thereafter by a Tarpon Springs police officer.
Officer Kondek was transported to Florida Hospital North Pinellas where he later died from his injuries.
Parilla was interviewed at the Sheriff's North District Station and was later transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident. He admitted to the crime and was arrested for first degree murder.
Early Sunday afternoon, the Tarpon Springs Police Department released the following statement:
"With grieving hearts, the Tarpon Springs Police Department is saddened to announce the loss of Officer Charles Kondek."
Charles "Charlie K" 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 had previously served for over 5 years as a NYPD officer before moving to Florida.
People in the community have been bringing flowers to the Tarpon Springs Police Department to honor the fallen officer.
This shooting comes just a day after two officers were killed in an ambush-style shooting in New York City.
Gov. Rick Scott released the following statement Sunday regarding the death of Officer Charles Kondek:
"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.
"Last month, Leon County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Smithwas also killed in the line of duty. Each loss of a law enforcement officer is heartbreaking and losing two heroes in less than a month is a cry for peace and a signal to all Floridians to pray for our men and women in uniform who protect our communities each day.
"As we celebrate the holidays, I hope and pray that Floridians can come together and foster a peace that will prevent future tragedies in our state. Our law enforcement bravely and selflessly risk their lives to protect us and as Governor I am always thinking about how we can thank and strengthen the men and women who wear the uniform and serve our families. Ann and I join all Floridians in honoring our fallen heroes and we will continue to pray that God watch over all of our law enforcement officers and their families."
Marco Rubio statement:
"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.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, the men and women of the Tarpon Springs and New York Police Departments, and with the brave men and women of law enforcement across the country who continue their work today undaunted and undeterred. As we should every day, I thank them for the courage and sacrifices they and their families make in the service of our communities."
Attorney General Pam Bondi statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of this brave police officer who sacrificed his life to protect his community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Charles Kondek's family and the members of the Tarpon Springs Police Department during this difficult time of mourning."
Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) statement:
"Like the rest of the community, I remain stunned and saddened by the tragic shooting of Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles "Charlie K" Kondek. I have spoken to both Tarpon Springs Chief Robert Kochen and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and offered them any assistance my office could provide. As a member of this community and the father of four sons, I cannot even begin to fathom the grief Officer Kondek's family is contending with."
"We are Tarpon Strong and I know the community will rise to the occasion by providing the Kondek family and Tarpon Springs Police Department the comfort they need during this difficult time. Please keep in your thoughts all law enforcement officers who, on a daily basis, are dutifully willing to risk their lives to serve and protect. We are so appreciative of their commitment. And, also pray for Officer Kondek and the fallen law enforcement officers of the New York Police Department. May their memories be eternal and their lives a blessing."