Charles Kondek Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Less than 24 hours after officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot dead in Brooklyn, New York, a former NYPD cop was killed on the job in Florida early on the morning of December 21. Officer Charles Kondek was responding to a noise complaint at an apartment building in Tarpon Springs, Florida, when he was allegedly shot dead by homeless man Marco Antonio Parilla Jr.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. After Being Shot, Officer Kondek Was Hit by the Suspect’s Car

Kondek had been responding to a noise complaint about music blaring from a car outside of an apartment complex in the Sponge Docks area of Tarpon Springs. Residents told cops that Marco Antonio Parilla Jr. had been in a white Hyundai with a woman named Evelyn Desiree Santiago. The two had been at a party together, reports Bay News 9. The pair had gone to Sponge Docks so that Parilla could allegedly confront someone who lived there. Parilla used to live at the complex and thought one of his former neighbors had told police that Parilla had broken his parole.

As soon as Officer Kondek arrived at the scene, he called for backup. According to Pinellas County Sheriff spokesperson Cecila Barreda, the call for back-up came just before Officer Kondek was shot dead by Parilla, who approached Kondek on foot as the cop was getting out of his car. He was shot once in the chest with a .40-caliber gun. Immediately, Parilla attempted to flee the scene, allegedly hitting Kondek with his car as he sped away. Bay News 9 reports that as Parilla sped off, a resident at the apartment building, Jareem Roach, shot at Parilla’s car. Roach later told police that he believed Parilla had been there to get him. The suspect didn’t get very far, as he hit a power pole after he lost control of his car close to the scene of the shooting. He was arrested shortly after.

2. He’s Survived by His Wife & 6 Kids

Officer Kondek was a native of New York City. He was 45 years old when he was killed. Prior to moving to Florida, Kondek had been with the NYPD for five years. He joined the Tarpon Springs Police Department in 1997. His wife is an employee of the Pasco County Clerk’s office in Florida. He was the proud father for six children — four sons and two daughters.

3. The Sheriff Said the Suspect ‘Should Never Have Been on the Streets’

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the media on December 21 that Parilla “felt like a caged rat,” which is why he opened fire on Officer Kondek. Gualtieri added that Parilla “should never have been on the streets to begin with.” During a press conference, Gualtieri said that Parilla had a total of 30 felony arrests and 15 misdemeanor arrests. He was last released from prison in March 2014. He’s now being held in Pinellas County Jail, where, according to Gualtieri, he’s been apologizing to Kondek’s family and “saying he didn’t intend for any of this to happen.” The Tampa Bay Times reports that Parilla is facing a first-degree murder charge in the case.

4. Prominent Politicians Have Paid Tribute to Kondek

Tributes have been flooding in for Officer Kondek, with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio saying:

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.

Meanwhile, Florida Congressman David Jolly said in a press release:

I’m saddened by the loss of Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, a man who dedicated his life to serving and protecting others.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Officer Kondek’s family and loved ones.

Meanwhile, a neighbor of Kondek’s, Linda Flowers, told Bay News 9, “My heart goes out to his family, both personal and professional. What can you say to them? Things have got to change in America. Things just have to change.”

5. Tension Between Police & Citizens Remains at Fever Pitch

Two Cops Shot And Killed Execution Style In Brooklyn

One of many tributes paid to officers Ramos and Liu in New York City. (Getty)

The shooting dead of Officer Kondek couldn’t have come at a worse time for relations between the public and the police. Less than 24 hours before Kondek was killed, officers Rafael Ramos and Wenijian Liu were shot dead in their cruiser by Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Tensions have flared since the August 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, which sparked protests in Ferguson and nationwide. Wilson faced no charges in the shooting, prompting renewed outrage. Tensions were exacerbated further by the decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island for the chokehold death of Eric Garner on July 17. And the recent execution of two cops in New York was billed by the killer as revenge for Garner and Brown. Although the shooting of Officer Kondek does not appear political or racially motivated, it’s another example of the dangers cops face on a daily basis.