Community remembers fallen Pierce County Deputy Dom Calata
Pierce County Deputy Dom Calata, who was fatally shot in the line of duty last week, is being honored Friday.
Family and friends are calling it a “celebration of life.”
The 35-year-old was critically injured in a shootout on March 15 in Spanaway. He died the next day.
Members of the public lined the nearly 8-mile procession route to show their support. Many held flags or signs as the procession passed.
Calata’s memorial is being held at the Church for All Nations in Parkland at 1 p.m.
A seemingly endless stream of law enforcement vehicles headed to the church with lights flashing, leading the vehicle carrying the fallen deputy.
Bagpipers, motorcycle officers, mounted patrol officers, firefighters and other first responders were among those who participated in the procession.
As people watched the hundreds of vehicles passing by over the course of more than 20 minutes, many were moved to tears.
Law enforcement from all over the state was seen, including police from Pullman, Vancouver and Port Orchard, and members of Homeland Security, park rangers and every agency close to home.
The turnout showcased the magnitude of loss and the impact Deputy Calata had on people during his life.
Some people watching the procession said they have children, husbands or other family in law enforcement. Others said they just wanted to be there, knowing Deputy Calata gave his life to protect the community.
A second deputy, Sergeant Rich Scaniffe, who was also shot in the same incident will speak at the memorial along with Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer.
About Deputy Dom Calata
Calata’s fellow officers said that he was always happy and proud to have served Pierce County.
“He liked talking to people, he liked serving this community. This is where he grew up, so he wanted to stay here and serve,” said Pierce County Sgt. Darren Moss.
Calata grew up in the Spanaway area and attended Bethel High School, where he graduated in 2004.
He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government.
Calata served in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a military intelligence analyst, and did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also served in the Washington Army National Guard.
He served with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for 6.5 years. He was assigned to the Edgewood Police Department, which contracts PCSD deputies for its law enforcement.
He was a member of the sheriff’s department’s SWAT team for four years.
He leaves behind his wife, Erin and his 3-year-old son, Dylan.
>>Read Dom Calata’s full biography written by his family
A legacy fund has been established in Calata’s memory in partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers. All funds will go directly to the deputy’s wife and son. Donations can be made on this page.
The deputy’s final act was to help save others’ lives: he was an organ donor.
You can honor his memory by donating blood during the Deputy Dom Calata Memorial Blood Drive through April 23.
Visit any Bloodworks Northwest location and use donor code “DOM” or mention Deputy Calata’s name so that participation can be tracked.
A support fund has also been established for Scaniffe, who was in critical condition and continues to recovery after surgery.
“Sergeant Scaniffe is facing a long journey toward recovery which will require a great deal of support. Donations can be made online or by visiting any TAPCO Credit Union Branch,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.
All funds received will go directly to the sergeant and his family.