TAMPA - A veteran Florida police officer died on Sunday after being gunned down and run over with a car by a felon who said he "felt like a caged rat" because he faced likely arrest and more prison time, a law enforcement official said.
Officer Charles Kondek, a 45-year-old married father of six, was killed in Tarpon Springs, about 30 miles northwest of Tampa, after responding to a noise complaint around 2 a.m. EST (0700 GMT), the local police department said.
Authorities charged Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., a 23-year-old released from prison in March and wanted for an alleged probation violation, with the first-degree murder of the officer.
"A tragedy caused by a coward," said Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert Kochen. "It's devastating."
Kondek's death followed a Saturday afternoon shooting in New York City, where a gunman shot dead two police officers and then killed himself. Authorities said that shooter had indicated on social media that he would seek revenge for recent US police killings of unarmed black men.
Parilla's actions in the Florida case did not appear to be motivated by any similar desire to retaliate for the killings.
Kondek had responded to a 911 call about someone refusing to lower the volume of music in a car parked outside an apartment building, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
The officer encountered Parilla, who was at the apartments looking for someone he believed had reported him for violating his probation, the sheriff said.
Parilla fired shots from a .40-caliber handgun, hitting Kondek in the upper body with one round, Gualtieri said. The suspect then ran over the officer as he drove off from the scene, according to the sheriff.
"His reason for shooting the officer was he 'felt like a caged rat,'" the sheriff said at a news conference.
Parilla was taken into custody after crashing the car into a pole and a parked vehicle and then running away on foot while being chased by police, the sheriff's office said.
He has an extensive criminal history, police said. Parilla was released from a Florida prison in March after serving a little more than two years for leaving the scene of a crash where there were injuries, as well as for various drug charges, corrections records show.
Parilla apologised to Kondek's family as officers escorted him into jail on Sunday, video from local media showed.
"That was not my intention," he said.
Kondek served on the Tarpon Springs police force for more than 17 years and previously worked as an officer for the New York City Police Department, officials said.