EL SOBRANTE -- A Hercules man was in custody Sunday after authorities say he fatally stabbed a hardware store employee in what appears to be a random attack inside the Contra Costa County business where the victim worked.

Daymond Agnew, 34, was arrested on suspicion of murder following the brutal attack that took place at Oliver's Ace Hardware, said Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy Lee.

Deputies were dispatched at 9 a.m. to 4071 San Pablo Dam Road for a report of a robbery in progress, Lee said. But when deputies arrived at the business, they learned no robbery had taken place.

An Ace Hardware employee was fatally stabbed inside this store in Contra Costa County Sunday morning.
An Ace Hardware employee was fatally stabbed inside this store in Contra Costa County Sunday morning. (Josh Melvin)

Instead, they found a 49-year-old man lying near the doorway of the business suffering from multiple stab wounds to his upper body, Lee said. The suspect had already fled the scene but was found inside a nearby residence and taken into custody.

Deputies performed first aid on the victim until paramedics arrived. The victim was then taken by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:12 a.m., said Lee.

His identity was withheld Sunday pending notification of next of kin, Lee said.

This is the second homicide of the year in unincorporated Contra Costa County.

As of 4:15 p.m., homicide investigators and crime lab technicians remained at the store, located just south of the El Sobrante Library.


Advertisement

"This appears to be a random attack and we are trying to figure out a motive," said Lt. Darren Hobbs.

The killing, which occurred inside the business, took place about a half-hour after the store opened, Hobbs said, and other employees were inside when the victim was repeatedly stabbed.

As of Sunday evening, Agnew was being jailed on $1 million bail.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 925-313-2600.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.