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Courts / Law

Slain Tarpon Springs Officer Mourned; More Facts Emerging on Shooting

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The family of Charles "Charlie" Kondek has made its first public statement since the Tarpon Springs police officer was shot and killed while responding to a noise complaint early Sunday morning.

Dr. Paula O'Neil, Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller, read a statement from Kondek's family Monday afternoon.

"Charlie was a loving husband and devoted father. As a law enforcement officer, he served with compassion and worked hard to keep our community safe," O'Neil said. "We are shocked and devastated by this tragedy that has taken Charlie away from us.”

Kondek's wife, Teresa, works for the Pasco County Clerk's Office.

"They are best friends, and Teresa misses her best friend," O'Neil said.

Kondek's funeral has been scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa. He'll be buried at Grace Memorial Cemetery in Hudson, following a law enforcement procession from the church to the cemetery.

Kondek, a 45-year old father of six, was shot and killed responding to a noise complaint at an apartment complex early Sunday. The 17-year veteran of the Tarpon Springs police department had previously worked for five years for the New York City Police Department.

Alleged shooter Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., who was wanted on a probation violation, faces first-degree murder charges. At his first court appearance Monday afternoon, he was ordered to remain in Pinellas County Jail without bail. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Sheriff's investigators say Parilla, who had over 30 felony arrests and 10 convictions, was banging on doors at the apartment complex just after 2 a.m. Sunday, reportedly looking for a resident who had earlier called the police on him.

While Parilla was doing that, a woman who had come to the complex with him was sitting outside in a Hyundai. A resident asked her to turn down the radio, and when she refused, that person called police.

By the time Parilla returned to his vehicle, Kondek had arrived on the scene and was standing behind Parilla's vehicle. Parilla fired seven shots from a .40 caliber handgun, hitting Kondek once, just above the top of his bulletproof vest.

Parilla then forced the woman from the Hyundai and fled the scene, backing over Kondek, who had collapsed after being shot. Officers arrested Parilla about a mile away after he crashed his car into a light pole.

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Credit Pasco County Clerk's Office
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Pasco County Clerk's Office
Kondek's police cruiser has been turned into a memorial outside the Tarpon Springs Public Safety Facility.

In other developments, flags around the state are at half staff Governor Rick Scott ordered flags around the state to fly at half-staff until sunset this Saturday to honor Kondek. Scott previously said he'll attend Kondek's funeral.

Pinellas County Sheriff's investigators have determined the Glock 40 that Parilla used in the shooting was stolen during a vehicle burglary on August 5th of this year in Jacksonville. The theft was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. No other information is known about the theft at this time.

And another man has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Sheriff's investigators say Jareem Roach, 24, fired shots at Parilla as he fled the scene of the shooting.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Parilla and Roach had previously lived together at the Glen Eureka Apartments where Kondek was killed. Gualtieri said that Roach thought that Parilla suspected him of being the informant he was seeking revenge against.

Roach, who was arrested at a hotel in New Port Richey, was charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. Gualtieri said Roach had spoken to authorities Sunday morning during the investigation of Kondek's shooting, but he failed to tell them about his gun.