MOSCOW, December 22 (Sputnik) — Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., a fugitive who fatally shot police officer Charles Kondek on Sunday morning in the city of Tarpon Springs, near Tampa, apologized to the family of the slain officer and said that he did not intend to kill the him; a local sheriff disagreed, saying he did not believe in the sincerity of Parilla's apology.
“I apologize to the family,” Parilla told reporters as he was being escorted to jail, adding “that was not my intention.” Pinella County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called the apology “a bunch of nonsense."
The Tarpons Springs Police Department said that Parilla, 24, shot Kondek, 45, when the officer responded to a noise complaint at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Police say Parilla was banging on doors at an apartment complex in a residential neighborhood, looking for a neighbor who had “dimed him out” to police (informed on him) for violating his parole, the Huffington Post explained.
Detectives say that upon Kondek’s arrival, Parilla approached the officer and opened fire on him with a.40-caliber pistol, striking him once above his bullet-proof vest. Kondek managed to respond by opening fire on the suspect before falling to the ground. Parilla then fled, commandeering the car of a woman who was with him at the scene, ordering her out of the vehicle, and running Kondek over in the course of his escape. Tarpon Springs police engaged Parilla in a brief pursuit which ended when Parilla crashed into a pole and then into a parked pickup truck. Parilla is then said to have fled on foot before being apprehended by police.
Kondek, who was barely breathing by the time backup arrived, was taken to an area hospital, where he died of his injuries, Florida’s Bay News 9 explained. He had served the city of Tarpon Springs police force for 17 years, and worked for the NYPD for five years before that. Tarpon Springs Police Chief Bob Kochen noted that Kondek worked mostly night patrol. “He served most of his career on the midnight shift, away from his family, allowing citizens to sleep peacefully in their bed because he faced the danger for them,” Kochen said in a tribute to the officer.
Parilla had a record which included nearly 30 felony arrests and more than 10 convictions, as well as 15 misdemeanor arrests. He had served two years in prison before being released in March of this year. He had been listed as a fugitive for violating the terms of his parole on two counts of possession of amphetamines. He was said to have told reporters that he “felt like a caged rat." Sheriff Gualtieri noted that "he’s going back to prison and he can be a caged rat in prison because that’s where he belongs," NBC News noted. "He should never have been on the streets to begin with,”"he added.