It had been a quiet Mother’s Day afternoon at the Harvest Market Thriftway in Estacada, Ore., until Joshua Lee Webb barged into the neighborhood grocery store, covered in blood, according to police.
In one hand, the 36-year-old man held a kitchen knife, police said.
In the other, they said, he held a severed human head.
As terrified customers ran out of the store and called 911, Webb charged a store clerk, stabbing him multiple times, police said. Store employees quickly wrestled the knife away from him and pinned him down until police arrived.
Around the same time, police responded to a 911 call in the nearby town of Colton, Ore. A woman lay dead inside her home, the caller told police.
It didn’t take long for investigators to link the two reports. The dead woman was Webb’s mother. The severed head in his hand was hers, police said.
After investigations by multiple law enforcement agencies, Webb on Monday was charged with the murder of his mother, 59-year-old Tina Marie Webb, and the attempted murder of the clerk, 66-year-old Michael Wagner.
Webb was booked into the Clackamas County Jail, where he remained as of Tuesday morning. It was not clear if he had been assigned an attorney.
Wagner was admitted to the hospital and was expected to recover, local media reported.
Police said Webb lived with his parents in Colton, a rural community about 40 miles south of Portland. At some point on Sunday afternoon, he killed his mother, police said, without providing further details.
Webb’s father, David Webb, told the Associated Press he was inconsolable over his wife’s death and son’s arrest. He said his son had vision problems and received Social Security payments and was living at home so they could look after him.
“I never foresaw a problem. If I had, I would have stopped it,” the elder Webb told the Associated Press. “I wish I had some answers, but I don’t. I’ve waited all my life to retire with my wife, and now I can’t. That’s all I know.”
Joshua Lee Webb arrived in Estacada, about 12 miles north of Colton, shortly after 2 p.m., according to police. Upon entering the Harvest Market Thriftway, he darted to the rear of the store, where he cornered Wagner, police said.
“You better run,” he told Wagner, according to the Oregonian.
Webb then stabbed Wagner as many as seven times in the stomach and sternum before Wagner and several other employees tackled him and beat him, the Oregonian reported. They then bound Webb’s feet and hands in duct tape, according to KATU.
Webb was silent until police showed up.
“He didn’t say anything after he was subdued,” Ernie Roberts, police chief of nearby Sandy, Ore., told the Associated Press. “He was in like a catatonic state, wasn’t speaking to anybody.”
Police said Webb was first taken to the hospital, where he was admitted in stable condition and treated for unspecified injuries, then booked in the Clackamas County Jail.
Wagner was treated on the scene, then taken to the hospital. He underwent surgery at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland on Monday, the Oregonian reported.
“He is a tough cookie,” his wife, Pam Wagner, said in a Facebook post, according to the Oregonian.
“This is such a crazy random thing that has happened and I am truly at a loss why someone would do what this person did,” she said. “Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.”
Community members in Estacada left balloons and flowers or Wagner, along with a signed card reading “get well soon Mike” at the store on Monday evening. Locals described him as a well-liked figure in the town of 2,500, known for telling jokes to customers.
“We’re just so thankful that he survived,” Connie Tumaniszwili, 71, told the Oregonian. “If we lost him, this town wouldn’t be the same.”
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