Suspect in murder-suicide had history of stalking
David Cote, suspected to be the shooter in a murder-suicide that took place just outside of West Linn last week, had a history of stalking and the victim, 35-year-old Bethany Noelle Schuch, had a restraining order against him that was never served.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Dan Kraus said the restraining order remained unserved because Cote could not be located. According to the Clackamas County Circuit Court, the petition for a restraining order was filed in November 2017.
"Attempts were made at the address believed to be associated with him, but he was not actually living at that location," Kraus said.
Between 2012 and 2013, Cote, 34, of West Linn, faced multiple felony and misdemeanor charges that included stalking, menacing, coercion and telephonic harassment involving another woman. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of stalking and menacing in Deschutes County in February 2014, and the terms of his release included no contact with the victim or her family, as well as drug and alcohol counseling and mental health treatment. He also could not travel to Deschutes County without permission from the court.
Cote and Schuch were found dead outside of a home in the 400 block of Alderwood Drive in West Linn March 7.
In a press release issued the next morning, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Brian Jensen said Schuch was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a breezeway outside of the residence when police responded to reports of a shooting just after 1:30 p.m. Cote was also found dead at the scene of what was believed to be self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
When the call first came in, a witness told CCSO deputies that she had seen Cote arrive at the home in a black SUV and that he was carrying a large firearm with a scope. The caller heard gunshots and said Cote had shot Schuch.
The witness fled the scene after seeing Schuch on the ground, according to Jensen, so CCSO believed Cote was still at large and deployed a SWAT team and multiple patrol units.
The location was just outside city limits so when the West Linn Police Department heard the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department deputies calling for armor and a SWAT team, West Linn officers began mobilizing to assist, according to acting West Linn Police Chief Neil Hennelly.
Borland Road and a local park was closed, and residents in West Linn's Fields Bridge area were urged to stay indoors and away from windows. In the initial confusion, the reports had the shooting happening in or near Willamette Park in West Linn and Willamette Primary School went into a "precautionary lockout" for less than five minutes, according to West Linn-Wilsonville School District Director of Communications Andrew Kilstrom. One bus route was cancelled due to the road shutdown and parents were asked to pick up their children.
When they arrived at the scene, investigators eventually determined there was no danger to the public and Borland Road was reopened around 3:30 p.m. According to Jensen, detectives and members of the Criminal Reconstruction and Forensic Team (CRAFT) evaluated the scene to gather evidence and conduct interviews.
Investigators confirmed that Cote and Schuch knew each other. Autopsies were conducted on the victim and suspect to determine the exact causes of death, according to Jensen.
Cote was a 2001 graduate of West Linn High School who played baseball. He was born with cystic fibrosis, a progressive genetic disease with an average life expectancy of 40, and in 2012 and 2013 he played in the annual Battle for the Bridge alumni football games between West Linn and Oregon City high schools that raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. At last year's Battle for the Bridge game, Cote was given Hall of Fame honors at halftime.
In a statement provided to the Tidings, Cote's mother Janet Bany-Cote said, "My family is more devastated for (Schuch's) family than for ourselves."
According to information given the Oregonian, Schuch also graduated from West Linn High School. On her Facebook page Schuch posted about love of her French bulldogs, Nancy Drew books, late night talk shows and the Portland Winterhawks.