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Pierce County deputy dies after being shot by suspect during SWAT operation in Spanaway

Deputy Dominique Calata was shot during a SWAT operation on March 15. He died March 16.

SPANAWAY, Wash. — A Pierce County deputy died on Wednesday after he was shot during a SWAT operation on March 15, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. 

"We are heartbroken to inform our community that Deputy Dom Calata has passed away," the department wrote in a statement. "Our department members remain grateful for the outpouring of support we have received. We ask that you continue to keep Deputy Calata’s family in your prayers during this difficult time. Details about the memorial service will be provided at a later time."

Deputy Dominique Calata, 35, served with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department for six-and-a-half years and was assigned to the patrol division of the Edgewood Police Department. He was married and had a 4-year-old child. 

He was also a U.S. Army Veteran and served in the National Guard for the past seven years.

There will not be a procession for Calata for a few days because he signed up to be an organ donor, meaning his body will remain at the hospital possibly until the weekend, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer said. 

Sergeant Rich Scaniffe who was also injured in Tuesday's shooting, was able to say goodbye to Calata before he died. Calata's wife, parents, sister, and some of his coworkers were with him when he died.

"The miraculous thing is we flew people in from different parts of the country and they've driven in and many National Guard military people are here, and every single person made it," Troyer said. "Was able to say goodbye to him before he passed away. I don't know if it was timing or if he was holding on or what happened there, but he hung on until even his sister came from out of state, and she was there when it occurred too." 

Troyer thanked the agencies who filled in for Pierce County deputies while they were at the hospital as well as the trauma doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital who treated both deputies after they were shot.

The shooting occurred near 190th Street Court South and Pacific Avenue South around noon on Tuesday.

The South Sound Gang Task Force was serving a warrant for second-degree assault on 40-year-old Jeremy Dayton. The task force had asked for help from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department's SWAT team due to Dayton's prior felony convictions, according to Wendy Haddow, a spokesperson for the Tacoma Police Department, which is assisting with the investigation.

During the incident, Haddow said gunfire was exchanged.

Calata and Scaniffe were shot.

Dayton was killed at the scene.

Scaniffe was out of surgery Tuesday evening and is in stable condition.

“Everything that I have to say about them is all great things. These are two guys that are just upstanding guys, they're fun to be around,” Pierce County Sheriff Sergeant Darren Moss said Wednesday. “That's what makes it tough because we all care about each other.”

“We know when people need help, we're who you a call. So when we need help, we still got to be there for each other,” Moss said. “It's always going to be hard. It's friends, coworkers, but we know that there's important work to be done.”

People who want to drop off flowers or cards are asked to leave them at the South Hill Precinct. An official legacy fund has been set up to support Calata's wife and young son. Donations can be made here