Fallen Police Officers: Charles Kondek, Tarpon Springs Police Department; Wenjian Liu, New York City Police Department; Rafael Ramos, New York City Police Department
Updated: 11:40 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 – Carol Lim
It’s been a deadly weekend for police officers. On Saturday, New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed from an ambush in their patrol car at an intersection in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Both were participating in an anti-terrorism drill when the gunman opened fire on them. Officers chased him into a nearby subway station where the shooter, a gang member from Baltimore, Maryland, committed suicide.
Another police officer, Charles Kondek, died in the line of duty in Tarpon Springs, Florida early Sunday morning.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says Kondek was responding to a noise complaint at 199 Grand Boulevard in Tarpon Springs. When Kondek arrived at the scene around 2 a.m. Sunday, he got out of his vehicle. Detectives say a man walked toward the officer and shot him. Officer Kondek was able to return fire before he fell to the ground. The gunman fled in a vehicle and ran over the police officer. He was caught a short distance away after crashing into a utility pole and parked car.
Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr., 23 years old, was arrested for first degree murder. Parilla, a transient and convicted felon, is in jail without bond.
All day Sunday, people expressed their sorrow at a memorial for Officer Kondek at the Tarpon Springs Police Department, including former New York City residents, Maria Macaluso of New Port Richey and V. Rev. Fr. Anatasios Gournaris, Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs.
Officer Kondek, 45 years old, is a 17- year veteran of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and before that, served with the New York City Police Department for 5 years. Kondek is survived by his wife, Teresa and six children.