Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maricopa County Sheriffs Deputy Deputy William Coleman Shot And Killed

A Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy was slain early Sunday after a burgary suspect opened fire at him at an Anthem medical plaza, sheriff's deputies said.
The burglary suspect, whose name was not released, was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy after he opened fire, according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Deputy William Coleman, 50, a 20-year veteran, the first deputy killed since 1995, was one of three who responded just after 4 a.m. Sunday to a report of a burglary in progress on Anthem Way just east of I-17, Arpaio said.

"Unfortunately, one of our deputies was killed in the line of today," Arpaio said. "It is extremely sad, for everyone. He was an excellent officer."

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A minivan was parked outside near one of the medical buildings at the plaza when the three Sheriff's deputies arrived. The MCSO patrols Anthem, a master planned community roughly 20 miles north of central Phoenix.

"The suspect came out and started shooting at our deputies," said Arpaio, speaking from John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital. One of the deputies, Arpaio said, "returned fire and killed the suspect."

The suspect carried a semiautomatic rifle, Arpaio said. Coleman wore a vest, but such vests are no match for such weaponry, he said.

"Not when the (bad) guys carry semiautomatic weapons," Arpaio said.

Deputies said they could not yet comment on how many times and where Coleman was shot.

Nor do they know, yet, what the suspect had stolen, if anything, and whether he has a criminal record. It's difficult, at best, to know what was in the suspect's mind, authorities said.

"Number 1, there's a war on against police," said Arpaio. "We live in a violent world."

Coleman leaves behind several children, including a 4 and a 7-year-old and a few who are older and have left the nest, Arpaio said.

Arpaio said deputies took a pit bull that was sitting in the suspect's van.
"We are pretty sure this is just an isolated incident," Arpaio said.