COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- Friends of the man killed by Lane County Sheriff's deputies at a Cottage Grove marijuana farm think it was a case of "suicide by cop."
40-year-old Joey Loop was an employee at the farm owned by One Gro. The Company’s CEO, Dan Issacson, said he's known Loop for 30 years and the father of three loved his family.
Deputies say they were called out to the area Thursday morning for a dispute and shots fired. When they couldn't find Loop, they called in a SWAT team.
At about 3:45 a.m, the Lane County Sheriff's Office says Loop exited the building with a gun, and two deputies fired at Loop, striking him. He was taken to a hospital by ambulance and later died.
Issacson said he believes Loop was drunk and was battling depression. Mike Arnold, who founded the company, said he was saddened to hear about Loop’s passing.
“I'm sure it was a very difficult situation for the sheriff's office, and they did exactly what they were trained to do,” Arnold said. “Joey was going through a really tough time in his life, as he had been for many years, and suffered from depression. And it's a terrible situation for him and his family and the deputies.”
At last check, investigators didn't know if Loop fired his gun. The deputies are on administrative leave. The shooting is still under investigation.