Cottage Grove cannabis worker fatally shot by deputies on company property
Lane County deputies shot and killed a marijuana business worker on company property Thursday after authorities say he emerged from a building with a handgun.
Two deputies fired at Joey K. Loop, 40, around 3:45 a.m. on a large parcel of land in the 78600 block of Cedar Park Road in Cottage Grove, police said. He died after being taken to a hospital, the sheriff's office said.
Deputies had responded to the commercial property about four hours earlier to investigate reports of gunfire, discovered someone was hiding in one of the buildings and used a loudspeaker to try to coax him out until the shooting occurred. No one else was injured.
The two deputies who fired at Loop have not yet been identified by the sheriff's office. They have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation.
Records show cannabis company One Gro, Inc. owns buildings, farmland and crops on the property where deputies responded. Loop, from Cottage Grove, worked on the farm and did information technology work for One Gro, said company CEO Dan Isaacson.
Isaacson described Loop as a father of three sons who was quick to infuse humor into any situation. He said he knew Loop for 30 years and that Loop had been battling depression throughout his life.
Workers at the Cottage Grove farm Wednesday night described Loop as being in the midst of a "breakdown," Isaacson said. He said he called Loop several times until Loop picked up his phone, distraught, around 12:30 a.m. Loop was crying and kept saying he wanted to be with his children, according to Isaacson.
Isaacson said he later ended their conversation by telling Loop he loved him, to get some sleep and that they'd see each other in the morning. Isaacson said they'd spoken about Loop's mental health in the past and that he typically appeared fine by the next day.
"If you see something, say something. I didn't say something enough," Isaacson told The Oregonian/OregonLive. "He wasn't a violent person. I think irrational things felt rational to him at the time. I feel bad for the officers who were there; they didn't know."
Loop had been to counseling a few times "but it didn't stick," partly because it was too expensive, Isaacson said. He said he helped pay for some of Loop's sessions. Loop was "killed by mental disease," Isaacson said.
Former attorney Mike Arnold, who helped found the company, said he believed Loop was the second employee One Gro hired and that Loop also helped with drone photography for the company.
"Joey was passionate about cannabis and always had a smile on his face," said Arnold, who left the company last year and remains a minority shareholder. "We're praying for his children, friends and the first responders."
Loop is the 11th person killed by police in Oregon this year and the second in Lane County.
Reach Oregonian reporter Everton Bailey Jr. at email@example.com.