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Clackamas County Sheriff's Office believes shooting was a murder-suicide; investigation is ongoing

TIDINGS PHOTO: PATRICK MALEE - Two are confirmed dead in a shooting near Fields Bridge Park in West Linn. Police closed nearby roads temporarily and one school bus route was canceled. Two people were killed in an apparent murder-suicide at a home in the 400 block of Alderwood Drive in West Linn Wednesday afternoon, according the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

In a press release issued Thursday morning, CCSO public information officer Brian Jensen said Bethany Noelle Schuch, 35, 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. The suspected shooter, 34-year-old David Cote, was also found dead at the scene of what is 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 is 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 local parks were 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 so 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, and one bus route was cancelled due to the road shutdown. 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) were at the scene to gather evidence and conduct interviews.

Investigators confirmed that Cote and Schuch knew each other. Autopsies will be conducted on the victim and suspect to determine the exact causes of death, according to Jensen, and the investigation is ongoing.

"Authorities are seeking any information from the public that will help fill in details leading up to the murder," Jensen said in the release.TIDINGS FILE PHOTO - Cote was a 2001 graduate of West Linn High School. He is shown here at the 2013 Battle for the Bridge alunmi football game.

Cote was a 2001 graduate of West Linn High School who played baseball. He had a disease known as cystic fibrosis, 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.

Information about Schuch is not known at this time.

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