A Florida police officer who was shot and killed on duty early Sunday formerly lived in North Massapequa and Bethpage, family said, and authorities are interviewing a suspect taken into custody.
Authorities said Charles Kondek, 45, an officer with the Tarpon Springs Police Department in the city near Tampa, was shot about 3 a.m. Sunday. Police have identified the suspect as Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23.
Parilla was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder after he fled the scene and crashed into a light post, then another vehicle, said Cecilia Barreda, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Barreda said the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation with assistance from the Tarpon Springs Police Department. Barreda said "every angle is being explored."
Police said Kondek was responding to a call that occurred after 2 a.m. and went to the location of the incident, at 199 Grand Blvd. Police said he died of his injuries at Florida Hospital North Pinellas.
Police said Kondek was a 17-year veteran of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and previously served five years with the NYPD.
His ex-wife, Rachel Laurel, 43, of New Port Richey, Florida, said Kondek grew up in North Massapequa and was a graduate of Plainedge High School, where he played football. He was a father of six, she said, and the two lived in Bethpage for 10 years.
"He was a good man, he was very helpful, and he wanted to help people," Laurel said. "He did enjoy his job, he did enjoy going to work, he was very helpful to people, and he had a lot of compassion for people -- this is why it's so terrible this happened."