Some were cranking out pullups and others were deadlifting a bar loaded with 185 pounds.
It looked like a typical intense noon workout at Yelm CrossFit, but a familiar face was missing.
Daniel McCartney was supposed to be there pushing himself and, as he so often did, encouraging his workout partners.
“They are doing what he would want them to do,” said gym co-owner and Olympia police officer Shon Malone. “He would say, ‘Suck it up and pick up the bar. Gut it out. Sweat it out.’ ”
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That’s what McCartney’s friends did just hours after learning the 34-year-old Pierce County sheriff’s deputy had been shot and killed while chasing two burglars in Frederickson.
Gym co-owner Annie Malone got a call about 2 a.m. Monday but didn’t answer because she didn’t recognize the number. Moments later, her phone buzzed again as text messages started arriving.
The Malones were floored by the news, but immediately started working to help alert friends and launch a youcaring.com page to raise money for McCartney’s family.
By 3:45 p.m., they’d raised more than $5,000.
They also decided to open the gym so the deputy’s friends would have a place to gather. About 30 people were at the gym before noon. They held hands in a circle to pray for McCartney’s family before they worked out.
“He was such a pillar in this gym and the CrossFit community,” Shon Malone said.
Inez Allred of Yelm pointed to a table where McCartney always stashed his backpack. Russ Mize, a Tumwater police officer, pointed to the bench were he often sat and swapped stories with McCartney.
Allred said she was always impressed by McCartney and his love for his family and passion for helping others. She remembers watching him after a workout as he taught his three boys, ages 4, 6 and 9, how to do pullups.
“He was an outstanding father,” she said.
And an excellent coach, she said. He often filled in as an unpaid volunteer coach at the gym. Allred said he helped her perfect complicated weightlifting techniques.
“He was always encouraging,” she said. “I think he just loved to help people.”
Mize, who works in Tumwater’s K-9 unit, said his friend always pushed him in the gym and they talked regularly about police work.
“He took pride in whatever he did, especially police work,” Mize said. “He was always, always wanting to better himself.”
Shon Malone said he met the deputy shortly after the McCartney family moved to Yelm about two years ago. McCartney was a Navy veteran and served six years as a police officer in Hoquiam.
“Daniel was the kind of person that if you called 911, you would want him to show up at your house,” Malone said. “If you had a problem, if you were in a crisis, you would want him there to handle that.
“He was honest, he was loyal, he was hardworking. He loved his job. He loved his family. I can’t say enough about him.”
McCartney’s three young boys were homeschooled and the family attended Yelm’s New Life Christian Center.
“He was very kind and had a peaceful demeanor,” said Mical Gaynor, a children’s pastor. “It was evident he loved his kids and his wife.”
Gaynor said church members were praying for McCartney’s family and working to prepare them meals. She said community members wishing to donate help to the family could do so through the church.
Malone says Yelm CrossFit will submit a workout in McCartney’s honor to CrossFit’s corporate offices.
The company has a large contingent of military and first-responder members and the company has a tradition of creating “Honor Workouts of the Day” for those who’ve died in the line of duty.
The workouts are used at gyms around the world on the anniversary of the person’s death.
McCartney’s friends did the workout Monday afternoon.
It calls for as many rounds as possible in an hour of the following: Four deadlifts, eight hanging power clings and four front squats in honor of McCartney’s badge number, 484.
There’s also a 400-meter run because McCartney loved to run. And 34 “double unders” because McCartney was 34.
“This (CrossFit) was a big part of his life,” Mize said, “and he was a big part of our lives. He will be sorely missed. He was just an awesome guy.”