A dispute that had allegedly built over several days culminated in shots fired and the arrest of  two men on Thursday.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reports that on May 23, at approximately 9:17 p.m., Deschutes deputies were dispatched to a dispute near the intersection of USFS Road 1505 and USFS Road 1513, in the woods about five miles southwest of Sisters. 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 had fled the area.

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

DCSO reports that an investigation determined that the dispute between Swope and the victim had been on-going for several days via phone and text messages. The cause of the dispute is being withheld for further investigation.

Swope is the owner of a Central Oregon landscaping company and the victim was a previous employee of the company. According to a DCSO report, 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, 37, of Sisters. When they arrived, a physical fight began between Swope and the victim ensued. During the fight, Stark allegedly began damaging the victim’s truck with a wooden tool.

At one point during the fight, DCSO reports, 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. The sheriff’s office states that they hid the pistol on Stark’s property before Swope was stopped by law enforcement on Highway 126. However, DCSO reports that deputies later recovered the pistol and other weapons used. Alcohol and controlled substances do not appear to be a factor in the incident, DCSO reports.

Swope was lodged in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Jail on charges of 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.