Suspect identified in Spanaway SWAT deputy shooting, wife addresses criminal history

Two Pierce County Sheriff’s SWAT deputies were shot on Tuesday while executing a warrant in Spanaway, and FOX 13 has learned more about the alleged shooter. 

According to Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, 35-year-old Dom Calata and 45-year-old Rich Scaniffe were allegedly shot by 40-year-old Jeremy Dayton. Dayton was killed in the shooting and Calata died from his injuries on Wednesday. 

Court documents show that Dayton has a lengthy criminal record. His wife, Stacy Dayton, told FOX 13 that this entire situation didn't need to happen. 

"I think he had this plan. Because what kind of man wants to live behind the bars in prison for life when you know you're going to get life anyways?" Stacy asked. 

Two SWAT deputies showed up at Dayton’s home at the Rainier Villa mobile home park around noon because he failed to appear in court for an assault case. Dayton allegedly opened fire from his car. 

Court documents say Dayton beat a man in his 60s outside a restaurant in February of 2021. A witness said he hit the man with a closed fist repeatedly, even after the man was unconscious, on the ground. 

Medical officials said the victim suffered brain bleeding and right cheek fracture. 

RELATED: Sheriff: SWAT deputy shot in Spanaway on Tuesday dies from his injuries

This assault was just a recent charge in a string of criminal offenses dating back to 1994, when Dayton was a teen. He has nine felony charges and five misdemeanors under his belt, including unlawful possession of a firearm, assault, domestic violence robbery and drug charges. 

"He changed. He became somebody that I didn't even recognize. He was such a good person. And then it was because of drugs," Stacy said. 

Stacy said she and her daughter pleaded with Jeremy to turn himself in and get his life back on track. 

"I warned him. I begged him ‘please don't have any weapons on you, and please don't use any drugs and just be smart. Just turn yourself in,’ but he wouldn't listen to me. He wouldn't listen to his daughter. We both begged him," Stacy Dayton said. 

Stacy says her thoughts and prayers are with the officers' families. 

"I am distraught. I'm having mixed emotions. I'm more concerned with the police officers than I am about him," she said. "Now, there's two officers involved that are shot and hurt over this situation. It's [a] stupid freaking mistake that he made." 

Troyer said that since his time at the department, at least a dozen deputies have been shot or killed in the line of duty. 

"We don't want to correlate what happened today or take away from what happened today, but as everybody knows crime is running rapid and we have a shooting every day," Troyer said. 

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