Former mayoral candidate Cox fatally shoots suspected prowler

Homeowner, former Vancouver mayoral candidate Cox, says he shot prowler in his yard after struggle

By Mark Bowder, Columbian Metro Team Editor and Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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Former Vancouver mayoral candidate Steven Cox shot a suspected prowler in his backyard in Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek neighborhood early Wednesday morning, and the man later died.

Police were dispatched about 5:23 a.m. to the 14500 block of Northeast 49th Circle, about a block north of Burnt Bridge Creek Elementary School, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Cox, 60, told police he was awakened by a suspected prowler in his fenced backyard. He said he armed himself and then confronted a man in his yard, according to the police.

According to a news release from the department, the two men had a physical altercation and Cox fired one round, striking the other man.

Ryan J. Anderson, 30, of Ridgefield, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but did not survive.

The Vancouver Police Department Major Crime Unit was investigating.

Cox withdrew from the current race for Vancouver mayor Sept. 26.

Cox withdrew after accusing Vancouver City Councilor Jack Burkman of telling him to “back off” at a neighborhood alliance meeting. Cox called it a violation of his First Amendment rights, but Burkman was not at that meeting.

Cox apologized and dropped out of the race, saying his error was related to a mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his time in the Army.

According to Columbian archives, Ryan J. Anderson was convicted in February 2016 of possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree possession of stolen property, possession of an illegal access device, and second-degree identity theft.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Also, in February 2011, Anderson was convicted in Clark County of possession of heroin and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

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