One day after the funeral for one of the two NYPD policemen slain in their police cruiser in Brooklyn on December 20, 2014, two Tampa Bay law enforcement officers experienced similar circumstances but survived. Two Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies were parked in fully-marked patrol cruisers, conducting traffic enforcement at 3:30 a.m. close to the grounds of Northside Baptist Church in Dade City, FL, when three shots rang out.
Strikingly similar to the ambush-style killings of NYPD police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the two Pasco County law enforcers escaped death.
Neither of the two deputies was struck by the bullets but both reported hearing the shots and the ensuing whizzing-by of the bullets. Although the targeted deputies took cover inside their respective cars, neither saw any suspect(s) or any vehicle from which it is believed the gunfire emanated.
Roughly 12 hours after both NYPD officers Ramos and Liu were assassinated, a tarpon Springs, FL, policeman was shot and killed in cold blood. Police Officer Charles “Charlie K” Kondek, 45, was shot at by a parolee and wanted fugitive. Kondek was investigating a “Noise complaint’ when, from a darkened driveway, a 23-year-old convicted felon in possession of a stolen gun opened fire. One of the seven bullets fired by the assassin struck Kondek in the chest, slightly above his ballistic vest. Kondek leaves behind a wife and six children.
Accounts from all across the American landscape describe incidents whereby it appears police are being targeted in casual settings. One of the most recent incidents involving police assassination attempts transpired on Christmas night in Durham, NC. Durham police Officer J.T. West sat in his fully-marked police cruiser near the downtown district, writing reports, when he noticed two men walking up from behind his car. West exited his vehicle to talk to the men.
In scant seconds, according to the News-Observer, a fusillade of shots from both gunmen rang out, piercing the front windshield several times. West took cover and dove deep into the vehicle’s compartment. Besides being covered by shards of glass, West was uninjured.
Although both NYPD and the Tarpon Springs cops perished, Durham police Officer West and the two Pasco County deputies survived. Regarding the Pasco County assassination attempt, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay posted a $3000. reward for any information leading to the arrest of perpetrator(s) of the drive-by shooting targeting two law enforcement officials.