Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy William Coleman was killed in the line of duty in the early hours of Sunday, January 8th. The 50 year-old deputy was shot when responding to a burglary call at a strip mall in Anthem. The killer “came out shooting” when Coleman and two other sheriff’s deputies approached his van in the parking lot. Coleman was wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time, but it was not enough to prevent the fatal injuries.
The other deputies returned fire and killed the shooter. No one else was injured in the incident.
The killer was armed with a high-powered rifle. Law enforcement officers from Maricopa and Yavapai Counties are investigating whether Coleman was killed by the same person who killed two people near Sedona last week. All the victims were killed with high-powered rifles.
Law enforcement has identified 30 year-old Drew Ryan Maras as Coleman’s killer. He had a minimal criminal record prior to this incident. The investigation will hopefully determine his motive for this killing.
Coleman had been a member of law enforcement for 20 years. He is survived by a wife and two small children. Coleman’s surviving family may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Maras’ estate. A wrongful death claim may be brought by the survivors of someone who has died due to another person’s actions. If the deputy’s family sues for wrongful death, they will request the damages that the deputy would have been able to collect from the killer if the deputy had survived the incident. Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 12-611 – 12-613 govern wrongful death lawsuits.
If you have lost a loved one at the hands of another, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.
Photo credit: andrewmalone from Flickr