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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Pierce County deputy shot while serving warrant dies from his injuries

UPDATED: Wed., March 16, 2022

Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, died Wednesday after being shot while serving a warrant Tuesday in Spanaway, Wash.  (Courtesy)
Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, died Wednesday after being shot while serving a warrant Tuesday in Spanaway, Wash. (Courtesy)
By Peter Talbot and Stacia Glenn (Tacoma) News Tribune

The 35-year-old Pierce County deputy shot and gravely injured Tuesday while serving a warrant on a convicted felon in Spanaway died Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata died at 2:34 p.m. at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma surrounded by family members and fellow deputies and National Guard.

“It’s a terrible loss for everybody,” Sheriff Ed Troyer said. “The whole department is grieving.”

“We are heartbroken to inform our community that Deputy Dom Calata has passed away,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said in a 4 p.m. tweet. “Our department members remain grateful for the outpouring of support we have received. Please keep Deputy Calata’s family in your prayers during this difficult time.”

Calata has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 61/2 years. He was a husband and a father to a 4-year-old child.

Troyer said he was a man dedicated to public service.

“He is a big-hearted, great guy, got in his job for the right reasons,” Troyer said Tuesday afternoon outside St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “He was well liked by everybody on the department.”

Calata was assigned to the Edgewood detachment and was in the National Guard. Before his time with the Sheriff’s Department, he served five years in the U.S. Army. Calata was a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University.

His body will not be escorted to a funeral home Wednesday because he is an organ donor, something Troyer called “one final selfless act.”

The other deputy shot and injured Tuesday is Rich Scaniffe, 45, who has been with the department for 21 years. He underwent surgery Tuesday and is expected to survive.

Calata was also part of the sheriff’s SWAT Team, which was requested by the South Sound Gang Task Force to help serve a warrant on a 40-year-old man wanted for second-degree assault. Police said the man had prior felony convictions.

Details on what exactly led up to the shooting have not been released. The Pierce County Force Investigation Team is in charge of the investigation. A Tacoma police spokeswoman said shots were exchanged between the SWAT team and suspect, who was killed in the shootout.

In a 2018 interview with KBTC Public Television, Calata said he found it rewarding to be a law enforcement officer in the area he grew up.

“Especially with a newborn kid, it’s pretty awesome to be able to be out there and be personally responsible with trying to keep the community safe and the streets safe,” Calata said then.

Troyer said the department will be there to help Calata’s wife and son every step of the way.

“His family is still our family and we will take care of them forever,” the sheriff said Wednesday.

The details of a memorial service for Calata are to be determined. Deputies will return Wednesday afternoon to patrolling county roads, something surrounding agencies took over after the shooting so they could gather in support at the hospital.

The department was notified of Calata’s death by dispatchers who broadcast the news on the police radio. End of watch: #440.

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