Two Arrested After Shots Fired During Dispute Between Employer and Employee

Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office

Sisters, OR – Two Arrested After Shots Fired During Dispute Between Employer and Employee

On May 23rd, 2019 at approximately 9:17PM, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to a dispute near the intersection of USFS Road 1505 and USFS Road 1513, in the wilderness about 5 miles southwest of Sisters, Oregon.

The caller reported that he was assaulted with a firearm by his employer after a physical altercation at a campground.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Black Butte Ranch Police Officers and Oregon State Police Troopers responded to the area and began searching for the suspect who fled the area.

About an hour after the incident, a DCSO Deputy, located the suspect on Highway 126 near milepost 102. A high risk traffic stop was conducted and Justin Richard Swope, age 41, of Terrebonne, Oregon was detained without further incident. Highway 126 was briefly closed during the traffic stop.  

An investigation determined that the dispute between Swope and the victim had been ongoing for several days via phone and text messages. The cause of the dispute is being withheld for further investigation. However, Swope is the owner of a central Oregon landscaping company and the victim was a previous employee of the company.

Swope drove to the victim’s Sisters campground in an attempt to end the dispute. Swope arrived at the campground with his brother, Jonathan Paul Stark, age 37, of Sisters, Oregon. When they arrived, a physical fight began between Swope and the victim ensued. During the fight, Stark began damaging the victim’s truck with a wooden tool.

At one point during the fight, Swope introduced a pistol and fired it more than once. No one was struck or injured by the gunfire. Swope and Stark then fled in Swope’s black Ford truck towards Sisters. They hid the pistol on Stark’s property before Swope was stopped by law enforcement on Highway 126. However, the pistol and other weapons used were later recovered by DCSO Deputies.

Alcohol and controlled substances do not appear to be a factor.

Swope was lodged in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Jail with the following charges; Assault IV, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapons, and Disorderly Conduct II.

Stark was cited, in lieu of custody, for Criminal Mischief II and released with a court date.

Swope Mug Shot