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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- New details have emerged of the 65-year-old man police say set fire to four homes, ambushed first responders and took his own life in the predawn hours Wednesday in Springfield.
"He was a very lonely person and felt very isolated," said Mikayle Stole, who knew Lance Jacobs.
Stole, the founder of the online magazine and Facebook group "SeenEugene," said that Jacobs was a volunteer contributing photographer and videographer with them until 2014.
She said Jacobs was also an unpaid assignment editor for the group.
Jacobs was a technical wiz with a camera, Stole said, and he captured many local events, including groundbreakings and grand openings.
The following is one of the videos Stole said Jacobs filmed:
Stole said due to medical issues, Jacobs lost vision in one eye and believes the vision in his other eye was diminishing.
On top of health issues, she said Jacobs battled depression and seemed paranoid.
Stole offered her opinion that Jacobs was attempting "suicide-by-cop."
"In my honest opinion, I just think he felt left behind, and without his ability to use his talent, I think he had no will to live anymore," Stole said.
She believes Jacobs burned down his house so the state could not get it and didn't think far enough in advance that the fire would spread to nearby homes.
Public records show that Jacobs purchased the house on Oakdale Avenue in 2014 and owed money in back taxes.
Stole said she and Jacobs had a falling out a couple of years ago but said others with SeenEugene attempted to reach out to him, but they haven't spoken to him in over a year.
She believes if more people knew he was in crisis and offered to help, things would have ended up differently.
"I'm so sorry that we didn't know what was going on with you," Stole said. "If I had known, I would have come to your door. If you wouldn't answer the phone, if you didn’t answer my emails, I would have checked on you to see how you were doing."
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