Drew Ryan Maras, Possible "UFO-ologist," Identified as Shooter in Murder of MCSO Deputy

The man authorities say is responsible for murdering a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy over the weekend has been identified as 30-year-old Drew Ryan Maras -- which happens to be the same name as a "UFO-ologist" who wrote a book titled Open Your Eyes: To 2012 and Beyond.

The Sheriff's Office won't confirm to New Times whether the Drew Ryan Maras who shot Deputy William Coleman Sunday morning is the author -- and Maras hasn't responded to two emails we've sent him (which could be because he's dead -- if he's the same person who shot Coleman, he was fatally shot by deputies almost immediately afterwards).

However, Maras' Facebook page (which you can see here) says he attended Arizona State University prior to joining the Marine Corps. He also posts a lot of quotes that could be viewed as anti-government, like Thomas Paine's "the duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government."

Maras (the author) frequently updates his Facebook "status" -- sometimes three times a day. However, he hasn't done so since Thursday, which is the day before a New Hampshire couple was found murdered near Sedona -- authorities suspect those murders could be linked to the murder of Deputy Coleman.

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. Sunday.

When Coleman and the other deputies approached a van in the parking lot, the suspect -- now identified as Maras -- was seen sleeping in the passenger seat. When deputies tapped on the window, Maras started shooting, killing Coleman, a 20-year veteran with the MCSO and father of two young children.

Maras was then fatally shot by other deputies.

The couple from New Hampshire, James Johnson and Carol Raynsford, were found shot to death in their car as it was parked in a remote section of Arizona State Route 89-A.

Because the deputy and the couple each were shot with a high-powered rifle, and because the crime scenes are linked by their proximity to Interstate 17, authorities are investigating whether the same gunman is responsible for all three murders.

The MCSO says the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office currently is investigating the ballistics of the gun used to murder the New Hampshire couple to see if it's a match to the gun used to shoot Deputy Coleman. The YCSO's expected to release its results this afternoon.

After the MCSO told us it wouldn't give us any additional information about Maras, we sent an email to Deputy Chris Hegstrom asking that he let us know if we're wrong to assume the Maras who shot Deputy Coleman is the same person who wrote Open Your Eyes: To 2012 and Beyond. He never got back to us.

The MCSO says Sheriff Joe Arpaio will release more information about Maras when it becomes available. Check back for updates. 

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James King
Contact: James King