23-year-old transient Marco Antonio Parilla Jr. was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder on Sunday, but not before he fatally shot a Tarpon Springs, FL police officer and then ran him over with his car. The officer, 45-year-old Charles Kondek, was responding to a noise complaint at an apartment complex around 2 am Sunday morning.
Even though Parilla had a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation, Kondek was not there for him – he was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time – a risk that police officers face daily.
Parilla was looking for someone in the complex who he believed had “dimed him out”, authorities said. When he saw Kondek, he immediately fired several rounds at the officer assuming Kondek was there to arrest him. Kondek was fatally struck one time; the bullet hitting just above his bullet-proof vest.
Parilla ran over Kondek as he fled the scene in a white Hyundai Elantra. Investigators believe he was then involved in a second shooting before his arrest. Investigators say that Parilla told them he shot at the officer because he “felt like a caged rat” and feared going back to prison.
Parilla said, “I apologize to the family.” He said killing Kondek was not his intention. The question on everyone’s mind must be: “How do you shoot someone AND run them over with your car without intending on killing them?”
Parilla has already served over two years in prison for drug charges and other offenses but was released in March on probation. One might wonder why after seeing Parilla’s extensive criminal record that includes almost 30 felony arrests and 15 misdemeanor arrests. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “He never should have been on the streets to begin with.”
Officer “Charlie K” Kondek worked for the Tarpon Springs Police Department for 17 years and had previously worked for the New York City Police Department for five years. He was the father of six children. Shawn Prince, one of Kondek’s former coworkers said, “He always took time off to go to the special events with his kids. He was really a family guy; that was for sure.”
Kondek was honored by his community when his body was taken from the hospital as residents and officers led a procession through downtown Clearwater. Mayor David Archie gave a brief statement sending prayers and condolences to Kondek’s family.