JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The gun used to kill a veteran Tarpon Springs police officer on Sunday was stolen from a car in Jacksonville, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said Tarpon Springs police officer Charles Kondek was responding to a noise complaint early Sunday morning when 23-year-old Marco Parilla Jr. shot and killed him. Officers arrested the transient a short time later. Kondek, who had served with the New York Police Department before moving to Florida, was married and had six children.
Detectives said the gun used to kill Kondek, who leaves behind a wife and six children, was stolen from outside a home in Jacksonville in August.
"He took his gun out, which was a .40 caliber handgun. It had several rounds in it, and he fired them at the officer, striking the officer once in the upper body," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Police took that weapon's serial number and put it into a national database, tracing the gun back to a home in Jacksonville's Bartram Springs neighborhood, where it was reported stolen in August. The gun's owner also told police that the thief took 10 rounds of hollow point ammunition.
A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report showed there were at least four auto burglaries on Wind Cave Lane that night. Police believe the cars were left unlocked. Detectives are investigating the connection to Kondek's murder.
"So now it is a matter of how did he get the weapon? Did someone burglarize the vehicle and sell it to him? Or is he the actual burglar?" said News4Jax crime analyst Gil Smith.
Smith said now police will try to use fingerprints, if available, to figure that out.
"People who commit these crimes are usually convicted felons, and they are not going to purchase a weapon the legal way, so they are going to get it off the streets, secondhand from someone, and those weapons are usually stolen," Smith said. "That way it doesn't come back to them. It's not registered to them. It cannot be traced."
A JSO spokesman said he can't comment on the case because it's an ongoing investigation. He said right now detectives aren't sure how Parilla got the gun, but they're trying to find out.
The man who owned the gun before it was stolen wasn't home Tuesday when News4Jax attempted to contact him.
If police find out someone else stole the weapon and gave it to Parilla, they could also be charged in connection with the case.
In 2012, Clay County detective David White was shot and killed during a meth lab raid in Middleburg. Ted Tilley, the suspect who was also killed in the shootout, used a stolen gun. A year later, deputies traced the four other people who had possession of the stolen gun before the suspect got it and arrested them. They were charged with dealing in stolen property.