Tarpon Springs, Fl., Police Officer Charles Kondek, a veteran of the overnight shift, was the first to respond to a routine call about a car stereo blaring at 2 a.m. yesterday at a small apartment building. Moments later, he lay dying in the parking lot, shot in the chest and run over as the suspect sped away, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The shooter, Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, was caught after a short car chase. Parilla, with an extensive criminal record including 30 felony charges, was wanted for violating probation and told investigators he didn’t want to go back to prison.
“He said his reason for shooting the officer was because he felt like a caged rat,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “He’s going back to prison, which is where he belongs. He had absolutely no reason to take a police officer’s life.” Kondek, who spent 17 years with the Police Department, leaves a wife and six children. He’s the first Tarpon Springs officer shot to death in nearly 90 years. “Charlie was just a great guy, a standout cop who came in every day and did his job,” said Police Chief Robert Kochen. Parilla came to the apartment building looking for a snitch. He thought someone had “dimed him out,” Gualtieri said, informing police about drug activity that led to his probation violation charges.