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Updated Jan 8, 2012 - 11:35 am

Maricopa County deputy shot and killed in Anthem early Sunday

Deputy William Coleman (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX A Maricopa County sheriff's deputy has been shot and killed while answering a burglary call in the north Phoenix suburb of Anthem.

As Deputy William Coleman and another deputy approached a van at the scene of the robbery, the suspect opened fire with an assault rifle, fatally wounding Coleman.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio confirmed Sunday morning that the deputy was taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital where he later died from a gun shot wound.

The suspect was killed as well.

"Obviously, we can't talk to the suspect and know what he was thinking, so we're going to do the best we can to figure out why he decided to do this to our deputy," said Jeff Sprong with MCSO.

Coleman was wearing a bulletproof vest, but one of the rounds managed to get though it. He was 51 and a 20-year veteran of the agency.

The van, which had out of state plates, is being investigated, Arpaio said.

There are no other suspects at this time, Arpaio said.

An MCSO deputy has not been killed in the line of duty since 1995.

Coleman is survived by a wife and two children.

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