visual storyteller

Tarpon Springs officer killed in the line of duty

Added on by Monica Herndon.

The phone rings, I'm on another assignment, but I take it regardless. I'm told I've got to head to Tarpon Springs, "A cop's been shot." Not knowing how big of a deal it was, I made my way over to the scene.

Tarpon Springs cop Charles Kondek was killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning, December 21st, 2014. After two NYPD cops were killed the day before, people worried that the killings were related. They were not. 

The next weekend I covered his funeral procession. Thousands of cops from all over Florida came. It was pretty incredible to see the support for Officer Kondek, his family, and his fellow Tarpon Springs officers. 

  Police officers collect evidence on the scene of the shooting in Tarpon Springs on Sunday morning, December 21st, 2014. 

Police officers collect evidence on the scene of the shooting in Tarpon Springs on Sunday morning, December 21st, 2014. 

 Keith Baldwin embraced Kimberly Baldwin, 11, of Tarpon Springs, beside the memorial for Tarpon Springs police officer, Charlie Kondek, 45, outside of the public safety facility in Tarpon Springs on Sunday December 21st, 2014. 

Keith Baldwin embraced Kimberly Baldwin, 11, of Tarpon Springs, beside the memorial for Tarpon Springs police officer, Charlie Kondek, 45, outside of the public safety facility in Tarpon Springs on Sunday December 21st, 2014. 

 A memorial for Tarpon Springs police officer Charlie Kondek, 45, grew outside of the public safety facility in Tarpon Springs on Sunday December 21st, 2014. 

A memorial for Tarpon Springs police officer Charlie Kondek, 45, grew outside of the public safety facility in Tarpon Springs on Sunday December 21st, 2014. 

 Officer Kondek's body arrived for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

Officer Kondek's body arrived for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

 Officer Kondek's body arrived at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014.  

Officer Kondek's body arrived at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014.  

 Area police officers stand at attention when Officer Kondek's body arrived for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

Area police officers stand at attention when Officer Kondek's body arrived for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

 Officer Jason Hughes, of the St. Petersburg mounted police unit, waits for Officer Kondek's body to arrive for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

Officer Jason Hughes, of the St. Petersburg mounted police unit, waits for Officer Kondek's body to arrive for the funeral at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. 

  A  giant   flag  hung between two fire engine ladders greeted mourners at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. The funeral for officer Charles Kondek was held Saturday, nearly a week after he was killed on duty in Tarpon Springs. 

giant flag hung between two fire engine ladders greeted mourners at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz on Saturday December 27th, 2014. The funeral for officer Charles Kondek was held Saturday, nearly a week after he was killed on duty in Tarpon Springs.