Home News Deputy who was shot during SWAT operation dies in hospital

Deputy who was shot during SWAT operation dies in hospital

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Dominique Calata (left), Rich Scaniffe (right)


The Seattle Times

One of two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies who were shot and wounded Tuesday during a shootout with a suspect has died, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, 35, died Wednesday afternoon at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. Calata had been with the Sheriff’s Department for 6 1/2 years and was assigned to patrol with the Edgewood Police Department.

He was an Army veteran and had served in the National Guard for the past seven years.

He leaves behind a wife and a young son.

“We are heartbroken to inform our community that Deputy Dom Calata has passed away,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a 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 and Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, 45, were wounded when members of the Pierce County SWAT team went in to arrest an assault suspect in a mobile home park near Spanaway. The 40-year-old assault suspect was killed when gunfire erupted during a SWAT operation.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, which police said was a mobile home park in the 19000 block of Pacific Avenue South.

The suspect was being sought on a warrant for second-degree assault when the South Sound Gang Task Force found him Tuesday morning on the Pacific Avenue South property, said Wendy Haddow, public information officer for the Tacoma Police Department. Because of the suspect’s previous felony convictions, the task force asked the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for assistance in making the arrest, Haddow said.

The man, who police said had prior felony convictions, was believed to be a candidate for the three strikes law. That means he would have faced life in prison if convicted of another crime.

The two wounded deputies were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to a news release issued Tuesday on behalf of the Pierce County Force Investigation Team, which is investigating the shooting.

Scaniffe is a 21-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and is assigned to the Mountain Detachment. He has been a member of the SWAT team for 14 years and has been the team’s commander for the past year. He is married with a young daughter.

He was in stable condition on Wednesday.

The Seattle Police Department and other local agencies tweeted their condolences after news broke that Calata had died.

Chris Barringer, a patrol deputy with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in Bend, Oregon, graduated from the police academy with Calata in 2016 and the two remained friends. Barringer, who served as chief of staff to former King County Sheriff John Urquhart, said Calata was the smartest, most disciplined and well prepared of their classmates — and he was voted the person they would most want to partner with.

“Everyone wanted Dominique [as a partner], including me,” Barringer said. “He was the best of us.”

Information from Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green and The Associated Press is included in this story.

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