YELM, Washington -- Among those now grieving Pierce County sheriff's deputy Daniel McCartney are people in the city of Yelm, which is where he and his family called home.

The 34-year-old was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a robbery call near Spanaway Sunday night.

Fitness was a huge part of his life, and CrossFit Yelm was his workout of choice.

"Oh yeah. Six days a week, two hours a day. He worked out here regularly. His time was noon until 1:30 or 2:00 p.m.," said Annie Malone.

Malone and her husband, Shon, own the gym. Shon is also an Olympia police officer, and many of the people who work out at CrossFit Yelm are in law enforcement as well.

So when they learned of Deputy McCartney's death early Monday morning, it hit home.

"You know, me and my husband say a prayer every morning at 4:00 a.m. before he leaves for work, because you don't know if he's coming home," said Annie, wiping away tears. "Daniel loved his job though."

The Malones say that his job and his family were all McCartney talked about. Sometimes, he would even bring his kids to the gym with him.

"He was a great dad. Great dad. Loved his kids. And his wife was his world. They'd just celebrated their 13th anniversary in October," said Annie.

McCartney also volunteered as a coach at CrossFit Yelm. That's part of the reason the gym's owners decided to open up on Monday morning. They believe it's what their friend would have wanted.

"CrossFit is a family. He was part of that family. He would've been one of the first ones in the door, gathering us up, saying we need to be together during this time and work this out as a family," said Shon. "So we came in and put it out there. If people want to come in, if they want to stare at the wall, if they want to hug or cry together, share stories -- it's important that we do that."

Their CrossFit family did just that, starting at 6:00 a.m. Gym members prayed together before each class. They prayed for McCartney's family, and for his brotherhood of officers. They prayed for protection for all officers who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting their community.

Then, they worked out together.

"The best way to honor Daniel is to work out," said Annie. "He was always high-fiving everyone. If he got done first, he'd be the one in your face, making sure you're doing it right and pushing you harder."

CrossFit Yelm also started an online fundraiser to support McCartney's family and honor his memory. The Malones said they will contact the Pierce County Sheriff's Department to make sure the money goes directly to McCartney's wife and children.

"He was an amazing person," said Shon. "This community, this world, law enforcement, we lost an incredible person."

Deputy McCartney had signed up to teach a class at CrossFit Yelm on January 20. Since he won't be there, the gym's owners say plans are now underway to find a special way to honor him on that day.