A scholarship has been set up to honor the memory of slain Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Coleman, who was murdered last month while responding to a burglary call at a medical facility in Anthem.
The Rotary Club of Anthem is the group behind the scholarship honoring the slain deputy.
The scholarship provides $1,000 to assist young people pursuing a career in law enforcement, fire fighting, or paramedic training.
"We are touched the Coleman family accepted our offer to honor deputy Coleman in a manner fitting with the courage, dedication, and professionalism he exemplified in our community," Rotary of Anthem President Dave Newham says. "We hope the Coleman scholarship will help offset some of the expenses incurred while seeking training in this noble profession."
Coleman, 50, was fatally shot when he and other deputies responded to a burglary call at a medical center in Anthem about 4 a.m. on January 8.
When Coleman and the other deputies approached a van in the parking lot, 30-year-old "UFO-ologist" Drew Ryan Maras was seen sleeping in the vehicle with his dog (authorities suspect Maras has been living in the van). When Coleman tapped on the window, Maras woke up, opened the van's sliding door, and started shooting at deputies, killing Coleman, a 20-year veteran with the MCSO and father of four children.
During the shootout, Maras managed to fire 29 rounds before he was fatally wounded by one of the 41 rounds fired by the deputies.
The kicker: Maras had nothing to do with the burglary of the medical facility -- he was just parked in the wrong parking lot at the wrong time, as two other men burglarized the building.
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The alleged burglars were arrested a few weeks later, but have not been charged with any crimes relating to the death of Coleman.
Maras also is suspected of murdering a couple from New Hampshire, James Johnson and Carol Raynsford, a few days earlier.
The couple was found shot to death in their car as it was parked in a remote section of Arizona State Route 89-A.
Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher says it appears Maras picked the couple at random -- he approached their vehicle and just started shooting.