PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputy was shot and killed in Anthem Sunday morning and authorities are investigating whether the suspect is connected to a double homicide near Sedona.
MCSO deputies responded to a burglary call at a medical plaza near Anthem Way and Gavilan Peak Parkway at approximately 4 a.m. The burglar was in a van when deputies confronted him, according to the sheriff‘s office.
The suspect opened fire with an automatic rifle, fatally shooting one of the deputies. Other deputies fired back and the suspect was killed. He has been identified as Drew Ryan Maras, 30.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Deputy William Coleman, 50, had been with MCSO for almost 20 years. He called Coleman an outstanding deputy and said he dedicated his whole life to law enforcement.
“It’s a sad day for law enforcement and for the people of Maricopa County that he's trying to protect,” Arpaio said.
Coleman, a resident of New River, leaves behind two young children in Arizona and other children out of state.
"This tragedy is one more example of the danger that our brave members of law enforcement confront on a daily basis," Gov. Jan Brewer said. "We owe them our gratitude."
Investigators are looking into whether Maras is connected to a double murder near Sedona on Friday in which a high-powered rifle was also used.
The results of ballistic tests are expected sometime this week.
According to Maras' Facebook page, he was a graduate of Arizona State University and a sci-fi/New Age writer who wrote online books prophesying mass destruction, as well as criticizing mass media and the government.