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'He fought a good fight': Family, Dallas Police Department mourning after officer loses battle to COVID-19

Senior Corporal Arnulfo Pargas died after a months-long battle against COVID-19. He tested positive for the virus on June 12.

DALLAS — A procession was held Thursday afternoon in honor of the life and career of a Dallas police officer who lost his battle to COVID-19. 

Senior Corporal Arnulfo Pargas' body was escorted from U.T. Southwestern Hospital by his fellow officers.

”He fought a great fight since June,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. 

Pargas tested positive for COVID-19 on June 12 and six days later, he was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. 

Pargas's wife Toni said on the day her husband was supposed to get vaccinated with the family, he was working and he planned on going later. But he tested positive and landed in the hospital on a ventilator before that could happen.

"He's the light of our house and he's there and we are missing him because he's there,” said Toni Pargas.

His family read the bible to Pargas daily while he fought to survive. 

WFAA spoke with his family and friends in July, and they called Pargas the "heart and soul" of their community.

"Even on his days off, Sunday, we would meet to grab food for the pantry or someone for someone in distress, families that needed emergency food,” said Pargas’ friend Henry Martinez.

Chief Garcia said he spent time with Pargas just a few weeks ago.

”I called out his name. He was asleep and he woke up and turned and looked at me, and I said, 'Hey, you can still follow orders and he laughed a little about it,'” said Garcia.

His fellow officers held back tears Thursday, as they talked about what he meant to the department and the community.

“Not only was he a good officer, a good friend, a good brother. He was the face of the community,” said Robert Munoz, with the Dallas Police Department.

Pargas worked on the force for two decades, and for most of that time he worked out of the Lake West office. 

“We need to let the community know that we need to be safe and responsible and value your loved ones and your friendships and your family,” said Munoz.

Pargas was taken to Hughes Family Tribute Center not far from his West Dallas home.

His his family and friends said he is at peace there and no longer suffering. He is survived by his wife Toni and their children. 

Pargas is the second Dallas police officer to die from COVID. 

Watch the entire procession below: 

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