GATEWOOD STABBING FOLLOWUPS: Fund set up for victim’s family; suspect refuses to appear at hearing

(Tuesday night photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)

Two days after the Gatewood attack that left a 40-year-old West Seattle man in the hospital with serious injuries, two new developments, including the first hearing for the suspect. First, for everyone who asked how they could help the victim and his family – this crowdfunding page has been set up, identifying the victim as Court Heeter. From the page:

As many of you have heard, Court was the victim of a violent knife attack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, near his home in West Seattle. He sustained many life-threatening stab wounds and was fortunate to have Good Samaritans and first responders get there in time to save his life. He is now recovering in the hospital with his wife and family at his side.

Court is a strong man and is expected to recover from his physical wounds beautifully. He is indeed also a very lucky man to have survived an attack of this magnitude – we are so thankful he is here with us.

People are asking how to help. Meals are always thoughtful but in some cases can be disruptive to a household with small children that is already experiencing stress. In addition, a steady stream of visitors is overwhelming for this private family.

Obviously, there will be medical bills and other costs associated with this tragedy. As friends of the Heeter Family we are concerned about what lies ahead as he starts to work through what has happened.

Let’s come together and raise some money to ease any extra burdens we can for this family. Whether it be for a family vacation, medical bills, groceries, house cleaner – Whatever the Heeter Family needs money for let’s help provide it. Thank you for any donation amount or positive thoughts and prayers you can provide.

Again, the link is here.

Next – the hearing information, just in: As we first reported yesterday morning, police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Ryan J. Cox, who has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems, as detailed in this followup yesterday afternoon. After police first took Cox into custody at the scene of Tuesday night’s attack, he was taken to the hospital for what investigators said were self-inflicted stab wounds; last night, he was medically cleared to be booked into King County Jail, and this afternoon, he had what was scheduled to be a bail/probable-cause hearing. According to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, Cox “refused to appear in court”; the judge ruled there was probable cause to continue holding him, and set a bail hearing for tomorrow afternoon. The document provided for the hearing has the same narrative information that we included in yesterday afternoon’s followup, with the addition of Cox’s claim that he stabbed Heeter – who police say was unarmed – in self-defense, claiming he had clashed with the victim the night before. The probable-cause document also notes that law enforcement does not want to see Cox released, because he is “very aggressive” and because the incident involved “assault with a deadly weapon.”

We will update again tomorrow after the second hearing.

25 Replies to "GATEWOOD STABBING FOLLOWUPS: Fund set up for victim's family; suspect refuses to appear at hearing"

  • Peeb August 10, 2017 (4:54 pm)

    How do you refuse to attend a hearing when you’re in jail? Why don’t they just drag you there…?

    • Chris d August 10, 2017 (9:36 pm)


  • flimflam August 10, 2017 (5:02 pm)

    well of course he should not be released on bail – he should be charged with attempted murder.

    • WSB August 10, 2017 (5:09 pm)

      A bail amount is eventually set for most crime suspects. The question is whether they have the means to post bond.

  • Kid617 August 10, 2017 (5:19 pm)

    …Uncle. I’m out. This place is insane. 

  • Al August 10, 2017 (5:22 pm)

    This is freaken silly. Keep his sick self in jail!!

  • Jissy August 10, 2017 (5:56 pm)

    You and me both, KID617 — I am putting my house on the market  in 2 weeks and leaving West Seattle after FORTY-SIX years!!   I have had it with the leadership in this City (more like the lack thereof) and am taking my hard-earned tax dollars with me.   I literally have had enough.

    • FormerWSRes August 10, 2017 (11:19 pm)

      We sold our home in WS last year after living here for 29 years.  What this cool, friendly, hometown city has become is not where we chose to have and raise a family.  It’s becoming a disturbing town where you’re afraid to walk at night …. it was never like this before.   So so sad. ;(

  • West Seattle Hipster August 10, 2017 (7:20 pm)

    Our city council is just as delusional as Ryan Cox is.  Seattle is screwed.

    • Catherine August 11, 2017 (12:39 pm)


  • JayDee August 10, 2017 (7:42 pm)

    Hopefully Ryan Cox goes into the Big House for a long time.  But I wouldn’t leave here because of his crime. Jissy: You will score based on the news that Seattle home prices increased $100K year to year in July. But Ryan Cox’s crimes won’t affect the value of your house.

    I have seen more mugging and assault incidents in the Junction and Alki, but our overall population is increasing. Anyone could have been Court; so I gave some money to the fund like I have done for others but I don’t think this is a widespread crime wave because it isn’t.  One multiple crime offender reaching the end of his string. Unfortunately he went for violence. IMHO.

    • anon August 11, 2017 (4:30 pm)

      Thank you Jaydee, I tell people that all the time. I lived in South Florida for 17 years and you can live in the same development with people, but there is zero sense of community there. That has been the biggest difference for me living here the past 10 years. It’s nice to see the concern for the victim and family.

  • Jeannie August 10, 2017 (8:24 pm)

    The overwhelming majority of people dealing with mental illness are not a danger to society. However, this guy is. Do we have to wait till he murders someone before he gets a stiffer sentence? Unfortunately, he is likely beyond treatable.

    • Alki Resident August 10, 2017 (8:43 pm)

      Show me statistics.

    • BsMom August 10, 2017 (8:44 pm)

      I agree. It is very sad. I knew him as a teenager. He was very handsome and super cool. Not sure what made him snap. I’m not one to blame or play the who’s responsible game. Nir do I have a bleeding heart but I do have empathy. It is sad that he was never kept in jail or guided in to a healthy mental path. Someone who needs meds but is homeless can’t get them or be mentally stable enough to take them. I feel like the system failed him somewhere along the way. Not only failed him but everyone that his words and actions have hurt. 

      • Kschu August 10, 2017 (10:51 pm)


  • John August 11, 2017 (3:24 am)

    Please keep Ryan Cox locked up! He is a danger to the entire West Seattle community. Our thoughts are with the victim & his family.

  • Peel & Press August 11, 2017 (7:53 am)

    Damn,  I was concerned by the location and the White SUV that it might have been Court.  He is such a good guy!  Everyone at P&P are sending out some love and positive thoughts.  We will have a pizza ready for you and the family as soon as you are up for it!  I can’t believe I am about to say this but I am guessing it will bring you a smile…….Go Ducks! 

  • ImmaMom August 11, 2017 (9:27 am)

    To everyone thinking you can move some where else to escape mentally ill people: YOU are delusional. They are everywhere- grass is always greener.  But what is great about west Seattle is that there is a stronger sense of community and connectedness beyond our Nextdoor neighbors.  The fact that there is so much awareness of Ryan and widespread concern & action for this family -it’s unique. If you don’t feel it, it’s your fault.

    I have family and friends throughout the eastside and beyond the puget sound area that are very impressed with our strong community.  

  • Denis August 11, 2017 (12:23 pm)

     The injured man should apply for crime victims compensation with Washington state Department of labor and industries. It was set up just for this purpose and operates similarly to the workers compensation fund. 

  • Sara B August 11, 2017 (2:32 pm)

    There was a similar case on Capitol Hill in 2010, except there, the victim was killed. The attacker, LaRosa, had a long history of mental illness.   I am posting this link just to provide some information about what happened in a similar situation.  LaRosa was in and out of hospital and jail while his competence was evaluated.  I do not know where Mr. LaRosa is now, but I hope he is in Western State Hospital for life.  What happened to the mentally ill man who broke into a South Park home and killed a woman?  

    This illness has always existed in every community; leaving West Seattle won’t save you. I know of no cure for delusional violent schizophrenia.  Our mental health system is broke and broken.  This is so unfair to everyone:  we the community, the powerless families of mentally ill people, and of course, most especially the victims.  I wish there were political will to fund mental health services and the justice system, but our State government (this isn’t a City government issue, people!) can’t seem to make it a priority to fund the systems that should protect us . But then again, the Legislature can’t agree to fund schools either.    

    • Termyr August 11, 2017 (6:38 pm)

      Sara B. – You make excellent points.

  • WSResident August 12, 2017 (12:42 am)

    It is a fact that people who have mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than perpetrators.

    I don’t know the victim personally and I’m not accusing or excusing anything that happened but I would like to know what led up to the two individuals encountering one another.  

    • WSB August 12, 2017 (6:47 am)

      If charges are filed, the documents will include a longer version of what the police investigation has found.

  • RobB August 13, 2017 (6:50 pm)

    My family is close friends with the Heeters, their kids are with us quite often, and we know them as very good people.  I am not surprised that after a horrible and criminal attack that some of our West Seattle residents  and readers of this blog seem to fall back into the same old whiny conversation about why it happened and is there someone to blame.  Yes there is, Cox.  I am sure that the victim and his family will have a lifetime to try to heal and make sense of this attack and the harm that they have suffered.  Our community has suffered, as we may now be looking over our shoulders for the next Cox to come along.  This is a vicious criminal attack, and an attempted murder barely avoided this time and while the Heeters will suffer long after the blog conversations ends, when does the City of Seattle actually try to solve these and other problems, protect the citizens and maybe, possibly use all of that tax money to make our city and neighborhoods safe?  At least for the Heeters sake, if not ours. 

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