(TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.) — Residents of Tarpon Springs, Florida, dropped off bouquets of flowers at their local police station Sunday to memorialize an officer who was shot and killed earlier in the day.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says veteran Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, a father of five, was shot around 2 a.m. while responding to a noise complaint about a man banging on doors at an apartment building complex.
According to investigators, when Kondek arrived and exited his vehicle, the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla, walked towards the officer and opened fire.
Sheriff Gualtieri said Officer Kondek was wearing a bullet-resistant vest but “the round went in high above the bullet-resistant vest in his neck area, hit his spine and that was it.”
Police say Parilla got behind the wheel of a car and ran over Kondek as he fled the scene. Officer Kondek, 45, died from his injuries at a local hospital.
Parilla, who has a lengthy criminal record, was caught after a brief police chase and charged with first-degree murder.
The Tarpon Springs Police Department said Kondek was a 17-year veteran of law enforcement who had previously served five years with the New York Police Department before moving to Florida.
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