ESTACADA, OR (KOIN/AP) — A 36-year-old man allegedly killed his mother on Mother’s Day and then walked into a grocery store carrying her severed head before stabbing a 66-year-old clerk, multiple agencies confirmed to NBC4 sister station KOIN-TV.
Witnesses said Joshua Webb was covered in blood and carrying a knife and what appeared to be a human head when he walked into the Harvest Market Thriftway store around 2:15pm Sunday.
Joshua reportedly began stabbing a store employee, but was quickly overwhelmed by other employees who held him until police arrived, authorities said.
“He didn’t say anything after he was subdued,” Sandy Police Chief Ernie Roberts said. “He was in like a catatonic state, wasn’t speaking to anybody.”
Just 15 minutes after the attack, another person called 911 to report finding a woman dead inside a home on the 25000 block of Elwood Drive in Colton. Deputies later confirmed Joshua’s mother, Tina Marie Webb, 59, had been killed.
Joshua was hospitalized after being taken into custody. He was booked into Clackamas County Jail Monday afternoon for murder and attempted murder.
David Webb, Joshua’s father, sobbed as he struggled to process his wife’s death and his son’s arrest in one horrible day.
Joshua’s father said he had vision problems and received Social Security payments. He lived at home so his parents could care for him, his father said, adding that they had recently bought him a dog because he wanted one.
His mother had said she believed her son was depressed, but David said he never saw any indication of that when he spoke with his son.
“I never foresaw a problem. If I had I would have stopped it,” David said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “I just can’t believe I lost my wife and son in one day… I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish I had some answers, but I don’t. I waited all my life to retire with my wife, and now I can’t. That’s all I know.”
Police identified the stabbing victim as 66-year-old Michael Wagner, a longtime Harvest Market employee and Estacada resident. He was out of surgery Monday and is said to be recovering and in stable condition, according to police.
Customers stopped by to drop off balloons as a tribute in front of the store and to sign a giant get-well poster. A small collection of candles also grew on the other side of the parking lot, just in front of yellow police tape along the block.
“He’s super nice and outgoing. He’s the epitome of what this place stands for,” Marvin Flora, who owns Lew’s Drive-In diner next door to the grocery store said. “He always has jokes for you… he goes out of the way to know your name.”
Customers who had been in the grocery store during the stabbing took refuge in the diner Sunday, but Flora said it appeared nobody had seen much.
“It was traumatic, but it happened so fast that nobody really saw what was going on,” he said. “One lady came in this morning and said she actually saw somebody come in with something that was bloody and was carrying something with his arm.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report