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Sergeant shot while serving warrant near Spanaway returns to duty

Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, 45, suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound on March 15 while serving an arrest warrant on a suspect.
Credit: Pierce County Sheriff's Department
Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, 45, leaves the hospital on March 18, 2022 escorted by fellow SWAT team members after he was injured in a shooting during a SWAT operation.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A Pierce County sergeant officially returned to duty this week, months after he was injured in a shootout during a SWAT operation near Spanaway.

Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, 45, suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound on March 15 while serving an arrest warrant on a suspect who was potentially facing a life sentence. Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, 35, was also shot during the operation and later died.

Department members lined the road with emergency lights and greeted Scaniffe upon his return.

At the time of the shooting, Scaniffe had served with the department for 21 years and was with the SWAT team for 14. He had also been the team's commander for a year. 

Scaniffe is married and has a young daughter.

Scaniffe and Calata were shot while assisting the South Sound Gang Task Force, which had asked for help from the sheriff's department SWAT team due to the suspect's prior felony convictions.

During the operation, which took place south of Spanaway, gunfire was exchanged. The suspect, 40-year-old Jeremy Dayton, was shot and killed.

Dayton was called a "third-strike candidate," meaning he was potentially facing life in prison. Law enforcement was serving a warrant for an alleged assault with a firearm at the time of the shooting.

According to documents obtained by KING 5, Dayton had nine felonies, including multiple counts of second-degree assault. He was arrested eight times and imprisoned three times.

Calata died the day after the shooting surrounded by his wife, parents, sister, and some of his coworkers. Scaniffe was able to say goodbye to Calata before he died. 

Calata 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.

WATCH: Remembering Deputy Dom Calata 


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