Community mourns death of deputy killed during SWAT operation

TACOMA, Wash. — Friends, family and the law enforcement community are mourning the death of a Pierce County deputy who was killed in the line of duty.

Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma on Wednesday, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

He was 35.

Calata was one of two deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department who were wounded in a shooting on Tuesday. Calata was shot in the head.

A second deputy, Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, was shot in the leg and continues to recover.

Both deputies were members of a SWAT team serving a warrant at a mobile home park off Pacific Avenue in Spanaway.

They were shot when a suspect opened fire. The suspect was shot and killed by deputies.

Calata’s organs are being donated.

Though Scaniffe is still recovering at the hospital, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer said he used a wheelchair to see his partner one final time.

He was one of many people who came to Calata’s bedside before he died.

“The miraculous thing is we flew people in from different parts of the country; they’ve driven in, many military National Guard members here, and every single person made it,” Troyer said Wednesday.

Calata’s fellow officers said that he was always happy and proud to have served Pierce County.

“He liked talking to people, he liked serving this community. This is where he grew up, so he wanted to stay here and serve,” said Pierce County Sgt. Darren Moss.

“This is heavy, sad news. Our hearts go out to Deputy Calata’s family and everyone at the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office,” Governor Jay Inslee said in a tweet.

As remembrances for the fallen deputy pour in, attention is also on Scaniffe’s recovery.

“(He’s) improved a lot. Thanks to the surgeons and some tricky stuff they did, they saved his life. It was really, really close,” said Troyer.

Troyer said Scaniffe will likely remain in the hospital for another week.

About Deputy Dom Calata

Calata served with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for 6.5 years.

He patrolled for the Edgewood Police Department.

Calata served in the U.S. Army for five years and served in the National Guard for the last seven years.

He was a member of the SWAT team for four years.

He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University, according to Troyer.

Troyer said Calata was a local who committed himself to public service and got into the job for the right reasons.

He leaves behind a spouse and 4-year-old son.

A legacy fund has been established in Calata’s memory in partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers. All funds will go directly to the deputy’s wife and son. Donations can be made on this page.