Lexington, NC – Retired Lexington Police Department (LPD) Officer David Parde died in the line of duty on April 18 due to complications from being shot while investigating a suspicious person report nearly 29 years ago.
Officer Parde, 54, passed away at his home, according to his obituary.
He had been serving with LPD for approximately two-and-one-half years when he and a rookie officer were dispatched to a report that three teens were knocking on doors posing as delivery employees for Domino’s Pizza at about 12:30 a.m. on May 5, 1992, The Dispatch reported.
The resident was aware the restaurant did not deliver at that hour and called 911 to report the suspicious activity.
When police arrived at the scene, Officer Parde, then 25 years old, went to peek through the window of an apartment to see if the lights were on inside, when he suddenly collapsed to the ground, The Dispatch reported.
He later said he thought he had tripped or fallen down, according to the paper.
In reality, the suspects had shot him, hitting him in his left lung, left shoulder, and his spinal column, The Dispatch reported.
The damage caused by the bullet left Officer Parde paralyzed below his mid-chest area.
The teens responsible for the attack were each convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and have since been released from prison, The Dispatch reported.
Although his paralysis remained with him for the rest of his life, Officer Parde continued to serve his department in many voluntary roles after he was shot, including being a D.A.R.E. instructor and assisting with the department’s Police Explorers program, LPD Chief Robby Rummage said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Despite the adversity that Officer Parde, ‘David,’ has faced since that day, he has continued to display a true servant’s heart,” Chief Rummage wrote. “David has spread positive influence to so many.”
Officer Parde’s family described him as “an exceptional person” who used the story of his debilitating line-of-duty injury to inspire others, according to his obituary.
“David was never angry or revengeful due his incident and in fact, he used his injury to be a positive role model for so many people that he had come in contact with,” the tribute read.
Officer Parde, 54, succumbed to complications of the gunshot wound on April 18.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Officer David Parde, call sign 324,” Chief Rummage said in the post. “Officer Parde leaves an enduring legacy of service, sacrifice and courage. I ask for the community to embrace his family and David’s memory during these difficult days ahead.”
Officer Parde leaves behind his wife, Julie, his son, Brandon, and his two grandchildren, Asher and Liam, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his mother, two sisters, one brother, many nieces and nephews, his extended family, and “his brothers and sisters in blue who he loved dearly,” the tribute read.
Officer Parde will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Honoring Lexington, North Carolina, Police Department Police Officer David Parde, died April 17, 2021, after he succumbed to complications of a gunshot wound sustained on May 5th, 1992, which left him paralyzed. Honor him so he is not forgotten. pic.twitter.com/fLkKH2AjtJ
— Steve Wightman (@stevewightman1) April 19, 2021
GLFOP: 🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Police Officer David Parde
Lexington Police Department, North Carolina
— SCFOP Lodge #31 (@scfop_31) April 19, 2021
— Chicago's Finest👮🏻 (@ChicagoPD19) April 19, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lexington Police Department Officer David Parde, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.