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Hero Down: Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Dominique ‘Dom’ Calata Murdered By Gunman

Tacoma, WA – Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata died in the line of duty on Wednesday after being shot during a SWAT operation in Spanaway one day earlier.

The attack occurred at the Rainier Villa mobile home park located near 190th St. Ct. South and Pacific Avenue South at approximately 12 p.m. on March 15, KCPQ reported.

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer said the SWAT team was executing a high-risk warrant on 40-year-old Jeremy Dayton, a “three-strikes” suspect wanted for felony assault with a firearm, when Dayton got out of a vehicle and opened fire on them.

PCSD Sergeant Rich Scaniffe, 45, and Deputy Calata, 35, were both wounded in the attack.

Deputies returned fire, killing the convicted felon, KCPQ reported.

Sgt. Scaniffe and Deputy Calata were both rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center for treatment.

Sgt. Scaniffe, a 21-year PCSD veteran and commander of the SWAT team, underwent surgery on Tuesday and was listed in stable condition.

He has served on the SWAT team for 14 years, and is assigned to the PCSD’s Mountain Detachment.

The sergeant is married and has a young daughter.

Sgt. Scaniffe is expected to recover, but will have a long road ahead of him, according to KING.

Deputy Calata was “gravely injured” in the attack and was listed in critical condition late Tuesday night, Sheriff Troyer told KCPQ.

Doctors told his fellow deputies to be “prepared for the worst,” the sheriff said.

The PCSD confirmed Wednesday evening that Deputy Calata succumbed to his wounds at approximately 2:34 p.m., The Chronicle reported.

He was surrounded by his family and fellow deputies – including Sgt. Scaniffe – when he passed away, according to KCPQ.

Sheriff Troyer said Deputy Calata will perform “one final selfless act” as an organ donor, The Chronicle reported.

“We are heartbroken to inform our community that Deputy Dom Calata has passed away,” the agency said in a Facebook update. “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.”

Deputy Calata, a U.S. Army veteran who has served in the National Guard for the past seven years, is married and has a four-year-old son, according to KING.

He joined the PCSD nearly seven years ago, has been a member of the SWAT team for four years, and is assigned to patrol with the Edgewood Police Department, the PCSD said.

Sheriff Troyer said Deputy Calata is someone who “always stepped up and took care of business,” KING reported.

“He’s a local person who has done nothing but public service his whole entire life,” the sheriff added. “He is a big-hearted, great guy [who] got into this job for the right reasons.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Deputy Dominique Calata, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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