Police: Colton man carries mother's severed head into Estacada supermarket
The community is rallying around a stabbing victim and trying to come to terms with horrific acts of violence that played out on Mother's Day in Colton and Estacada.
Joshua Lee Webb, 36, of Colton is facing charges of murder and attempted murder after entering Harvest Market Estacada on Sunday with what witnesses said was a severed human head.
Once in the store, police and witnesses say he stabbed a store employee before being restrained by store employees until law enforcement could reach the scene.
Around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, May 14, a 911 caller told responders that a man, later identified as Webb, had entered Harvest Market, formerly known as Thriftway, on Broadway Street, reportedly "covered in blood" and holding "a knife and what looked like a human head."
Inside the store, Webb is said to have stabbed Harvest Market employee Michael Wagner, 66, at which time another 911 call was made. Wagner was taken by lifeflight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in North Portland to receive treatment for his injuries.
Sandy police officers took Webb into custody after store employees apprehended him.
As of Monday, Wagner was out of surgery and recovering in stable condition.
The community rallied around Wagner after the incident, with Lew's Drive-In facilitating a large "Get Well" card that anyone interested could sign. Additionally, Harvest Market has set up a charitable donation account at U.S. Bank for Wagner's medical expenses. Those who wish to donate can do so at Harvest Market or any U.S. Bank location.
Wagner has been a loyal employee at Harvest Market for 20 years. Jeff O'Neal, president of Harvest Market, described him as an "outstanding individual."
"He's a very genuine, nice guy," said O'Neal, who was not at the store on Sunday. "He's a great person."
Webb is facing a charge of attempted murder in light of the incident at Harvest Market, and murder for the Colton incident, The Associated Press reported.
He is accused of killing his mother, 59-year-old Tina Marie Webb. Shortly after the incident in Estacada, responders found Tina Webb deceased in the Colton residence she shared with her son, in the 25000 block of Elwood Road, about 12 miles southwest of Estacada.
Webb spent Sunday night at Legacy Emanuel, and was booked into the Clackamas County Jail on Monday, May 15.
Sandy Police Chief Ernie Roberts told Estacada News/Pamplin Media Group news partner KOIN that Webb was quiet as store employees held him down.
"He was in like a catatonic state, wasn't speaking to anybody," Roberts said.
Webb's father, David, told The Associated Press that his son, who has vision problems, lived with his parents in their Colton home so they could care for him.
Webb's mother was concerned that her son was depressed, though David Webb told the AP he never noticed symptoms of any mental health concerns.
"I never foresaw a problem," he said during an emotional interview. "I just can't believe I lost my wife and son in one day."
David Webb added that he and Tina had recently adopted a dog because Joshua wanted one. A dead dog was also found in the Webb's Colton home.
Webb appeared in court for the first time Tuesday, May 16. He faces changes of murder, attempted murder, abuse of a corpse and aggravated animal abuse.
During an interview outside of the Clackamas County Courthouse, Webb's friend Curtis Strandy told reporters with KOIN that he believes his friend will be honest in court.
"If whatever happened happened, he would tell the truth," Strandy said.
Strandy described Webb as "a good guy who loved his mother," KOIN reported.
A search for former criminal offenses commited by Joshua Webb only unearthed a Class C violation for unlawful use of metal objects on tires 17 years ago. Webb pleaded guilty and paid a $70 fine.
Because the stabbing incident took place within Estacada city limits, the Sandy Police Department has taken the lead on that part of the investigation. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will lead the murder investigation.
Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine said he was "horrified" on Sunday when he found out about the incident.
"I'm still in shock that something like this could happen," he said on Monday. "It's a horrific crime."
Drinkwine praised those who held Webb back prior to the arrival of responders.
"We have good people here," he said. "They showed heroic acts."
He added that the incident was a "wake-up call crime" and suggested that a neighborhood watch group could be valuable.
Harvest Market reopened on Tuesday. During an interview that day, O'Neal said most people were still shocked about the incident.
"We're trying to allow the community and our staff to put one foot in front of the other (to reach) healing and normalcy," he said. "This was a sense-
less and unexplainable incident."
Sue Dumolt, an artist at The Spiral Gallery, said she feels "sorrow for the whole community."
"An act like that hurts everyone," she said. "It hurts very deeply for anyone who knew either person."