On January 22, 1993, the Stockton Police Department SWAT team assisted a San Joaquin County narcotics task force serve a search warrant. Around 2 a.m. the team entered the 63-year-old suspect’s house and were confronted with gunfire. Officer Parga was the first member of the team to enter and was struck by a round below the left eye. A second member of the team was also wounded before other entering officers shot and killed the suspect. Officer Parga was taken to nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital where and pronounced dead at 3:07 a.m.
Officer Parga, 31, served with the Stockton Police Department for three-and-a-half years after working five years with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department. In 1984, he graduated at the top of his Gavilan Police Academy class and quickly excelled at the sheriff’s department. Despite his youth, he became a detective and while working in this capacity led the investigation on an infamous local “freeway rapist” case which led to the suspect’s arrest.
His death exacted an emotional toll on both the Stockton Police Department and his former partners at the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department. He was survived by his wife, Lisa, who was pregnant, and his five-year-old son, Art Parga III.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, Stockton PD Facebook Page, Santa Cruz Sentinel