One of the deputies returned fire, killing the gunman at the home near Eatonville.
Pierce County sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer said Deputy Kent Mundell and Sgt. Nick Hausner were called to the house in the 34300 block of Tanwax Court East to remove 35-year-old David E. Crable, who was in a fight with his brother and daughter.
The deputies arrived just before 9 p.m. and convinced Crable, who was intoxicated, to leave the house, Troyer said.
Investigators say Crable was concealing a gun in clothes he was holding and fired about 10 shots at the two deputies from just a few feet away.
"At some point he changed his mind about taking the ride out of there and opened fire on the deputies," Troyer said.
Mundell, 44, was hit multiple times, but managed to shoot back and kill Crable, Troyer said.
Hausner, 43, was also shot, and Crable's brother and daughter pulled him into another room and gave him first aid until medics arrived, Troyer said.
"We don't have any reason to believe any family member was in on this. They were simply trying to get (the deputy) removed from the residence."
Mundell was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is listed in critical condition. Troyer said Mundell is unconscious and on life-support.
"Doctors say we just need to wait," Troyer said. "There's parts of the body that aren't covered by bullet-proof vests. Unfortunately, when you're in close quarters... and you fire 10 rounds you're going to hit people, and that's what happened."
Mundell is married, and has a 16-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. He has been with the department for almost 10 years.
Hausner, who joined the sheriff's office 20 years ago, was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis and is expected to survive. His wife, 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were taken to be with him at the hospital.
Troyer said Crable was not supposed to be at the house because of the protection order against him, and his daughter was living there with his brother.
"He has a history of domestic violence, protection orders, weapons, threats, he assaulted his 15-year-old daughter, been convicted of DV-related crimes," Troyer said.
"Prosecutors prosecuted him on all of these cases, he served a little bit of jail time, the domestic violence orders were in place. It just shows that if somebody is hell-bent on doing something like this, to family members or officers, there's nothing really you're going to do to stop them."
Detectives are expected to be at the Eatonville home all day collecting evidence and trying to piece together exactly what happened.
"It's a very horrific scene," Troyer said. "I know everybody's looking for an answer. There's not going to be an answer that makes any sense other than this guy wanted to kill police officers."
Crable "didn't need to do it. He wasn't going to jail. He wasn't under arrest. They were actually going to give him a ride out of there and give him a helping hand to diffuse the situation," Troyer said.
The shootings come just weeks after four Lakewood police officers were shot to death at a coffee shop in Parkland, Wash.
Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold and Officer Greg Richards were killed Nov. 29 by Maurice Clemmons as the four prepared for their morning shifts.
Clemmons was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer two days later.
On Oct. 31, Officer Timothy Brenton was shot to death in Seattle's Central District neighborhood while in his patrol car.
His partner, Britt Sweney, was wounded. Prosecutors have charged Christopher Monfort in the shootings.
Monfort pleaded not guilty to the charges during his first court appearance last week.
"Everybody's pretty shocked," Troyer said. "We've been hit pretty hard here in our two counties."
Sheriff Paul Pastor said deputies were filled with "anger and sadness and disbelief" at yet another shooting. Such danger "is in the front of the mind" for officers, but 'we won't let fear direct us," he said.