EL SOBRANTE -- Relatives of a man charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of a Pinole man at a hardware store Sunday say they are "stunned" and "devastated" at the horrific accusation.
Daymond Agnew, 34, was being held at County Jail in Martinez on $1 million bail after authorities said he attacked Daniel Joseph Stone, 49, about 9 a.m. near the doorway of Oliver's Ace Hardware store at 4071 San Pablo Dam Road. Stone, an employee at the store, was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead at 11:12 a.m.
He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges of murder with use of a knife. An autopsy conducted Monday morning showed his cause of death to be two stab wounds to the chest, said Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.
Police say they believe the attack, which took place shortly after the store had opened, was random. Officers were originally called for a report of a robbery, but found that no robbery had taken place.
Other employees were inside the store when the stabbing happened, according to Contra Costa Sheriff's Lt. Darren Hobbs. Agnew fled the scene, but deputies arrested him after finding him at a nearby home.
Kate Kirkpatrick, a spokeswoman for Ace Hardware's corporate office, said Stone had worked at the store for about a year. He is survived by a mother, a daughter and two grandchildren.
"The entire Ace Hardware family is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Danny Stone, a dedicated employee," Kirkpatrick said. "Our condolences go out to Danny's family as well as the store as they deal with this senseless tragedy.
A woman who picked up the phone at Stone's home on Monday identified herself as Stone's daughter and said the family did not want to speak with reporters.
Family members expressed shock about the allegations against Agnew, a Sacramento resident.
"The whole family is completely stunned. Just devastated," said Agnew's aunt, Rita Fortson, of St. Petersburg, Fla. "None of us believe he would just walk into a store and stab someone. We just think something might have snapped."
Fortson, formerly of Richmond, said her nephew lives with his wife and young daughter in Sacramento and that in the hours before the stabbing he'd been visiting family at his brother's house in Hercules. When he left the home, she said, his family assumed he was headed back to Sacramento.
Her nephew is a felon, she said, but she did not elaborate on his convictions. She also said he'd just converted to Islam and that her family does not believe he knew the victim.
"There's no connection at all," Fortson said. "We can't wrap our minds around what happened. Can't make sense of it. We're praying for the family of the victim. I can't imagine what his family must be going through."
Staff writer Malaika Fraley contributed to this report.