A Florida police officer and Long Island native who served on the NYPD was fatally shot early Sunday, and authorities have charged a man they say feared returning to prison with the slaying.
Charles Kondek, 45, a 17-year veteran of the Tarpon Springs Police Department in the city near Tampa, was shot about 3 a.m. after responding to a noise complaint, authorities said. Police have charged Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, with first-degree murder.
Parilla was on probation since March after serving time for a drug offense in the Florida Department of Corrections, and an arrest warrant for a parole violation had been issued for him, said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. Parilla, who has 30 felony arrests in his past, had come to a housing complex to confront someone he believed was to blame for the warrant, Gualtieri said.
Kondek encountered Parilla walking from the complex to his car, police said.
Because Parilla knew he had a gun and there was a warrant for him, he said he felt like a "caged rat," Gualtieri said. He walked toward Kondek and opened fire, emptying a magazine with seven rounds and striking Kondek once in a part of the chest not covered by his bullet-resistant vest, police said.
Kondek managed to return fire before falling, police said. Parilla ordered a female companion out of the vehicle and ran over Kondek while driving away, police said.
Pursued by police, Parilla hit a light post then another vehicle, Gualtieri said. Parilla fled on foot, but was arrested. Kondek died at a hospital, police said.
Parilla "shot and killed the officer because he didn't want to go back to prison," Gualtieri said.
He said he believed the shooting was unrelated to the events of Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, and the "assassination" of two NYPD officers Saturday in Brooklyn.
Police said Kondek previously served about five years with the NYPD. In that department, he was assigned to the 34th and the 75th precincts in Washington Heights in Manhattan and the East New York section of Brooklyn, the NYPD said.
His ex-wife, Rachel Laurel, 43, of New Port Richey, Florida, said Kondek grew up in North Massapequa and graduated from Plainedge High School. He was a father of six, she said, and the two lived in Bethpage.
"He had a lot of compassion for people -- this is why it's so terrible this happened," Laurel said.
With Nicole Fuller