Meeting called to explain emergency response to El Sobrante stabbing

By Robert Rogers
Contra Costa Times


<<<El Sobrante Stabbing Suspect Daymond Agnew

EL SOBRANTE -- Concerned residents in this West Contra Costa community will convene a special meeting Wednesday to hear emergency responders and other public officials explain what happened in the aftermath of the shocking stabbing death of an employee at a local hardware store on Aug. 4.

Daymond Agnew, 34, was arrested on suspicion of murder after stabbing to death an employee at Oliver's Ace Hardware on the San Pablo Dam Road. Police allege Agnew stabbed Daniel Joseph Stone, 49, at least 17 times.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the El Sobrante Library, located at 4191 Appian Way.

The El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council called the meeting, and there will be presentations by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, Contra Costa County Fire District, Contra Costa County Emergency Medical Services and American Medical Response regarding emergency response to the stabbing.

County Supervisor John Gioia or his top staff member is also set to attend.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or Follow him at


At El Sobrante meeting, emergency responders defend actions following fatal stabbing

By Robert Rogers and Malaika Fraley Contra Costa Times

EL SOBRANTE -- As paramedics waited several minutes for sheriff's deputies to secure the scene on Aug. 4 where a man lay bleeding a few paces away, bystanders prodded them to help.

"Folks were saying the scene was secure," said Jason Sampson, an operations manager for American Medical Response (AMR). "But dispatch said no.

"We had a stressed paramedic," Sampson added, saying the first responders were hearing mixed signals from dispatch and residents at the scene.

More than 60 concerned residents gathered for a special meeting Wednesday to hear emergency responders and other public officials explain what happened in the aftermath of a shocking stabbing death of an employee at a local hardware store on Aug. 4.

Daymond Agnew was arrested on suspicion of murder after stabbing to death an employee at Oliver's Ace Hardware on San Pablo Dam Road. Police allege Agnew stabbed Daniel Joseph Stone, 49, at least 17 times.

Many residents expressed skepticism about officials' explanations about why at least five minutes elapsed between paramedics arriving on the scene and applying emergency care.

Contra Costa sheriff's Lt. Jon Moreland said deputies arrived at 9:03 a.m., three minutes after 911 calls, and came upon Stone at 9:07 a.m., then told dispatch to clear fire personnel at 9:09 a.m. AMR medics got clearance from dispatch at 9:12 a.m. Deputies arrested Agnew outside a nearby house at 9:12 a.m.

Between 9:03 and 9:07 a.m. the deputies scrambled in search of the suspect after being told by witnesses that he was hiding under a nearby bridge. Some residents complained that deputies didn't exit their vehicles when they first arrived near where Stone laid dying.

"The whole area was unsafe," Moreland said. Moreland added that a supervising Sergeant instructed a deputy to respond to the victim at 9:04. (WHY WAS THE WHOLE AREA UNSAFE????)

Moreland and other officials said it is standard practice for deputies to secure a crime scene before giving the green light to unarmed medical personnel to administer
aid. (SINCE WHEN??)

Some residents at the meeting were ¿not convinced.

Lawrence Gurganitus, a resident and frequent shopper at the hardware store, said he rushed to Stone's aid. Gurganitus said there was no sign of the assailant, and he implored paramedics to help Stone.

"It seemed like forever," Gurganitus said. "I yelled to come over and help, but they said to calm down."

The violent scene in this rural hillside community is the latest instance of controversy over emergency response times and protocol. In April 2012, leaders from the same agencies went to public meetings to tamp down outrage over the drive-by shooting death of Lonnie Peterson III in North Richmond. The 22-year-old bled for several minutes outside a corner market while paramedics staged in the street and deputies tried to quell a hostile crowd.

In May 2011, Police and firefighters watched from the shore of Robert Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda as 52-year-old Raymond Zack stood neck-deep in 54-degree water for 31 minutes until a civilian bystander retrieved his motionless body. Zack, who was suicidal, died

Agnew, a 34-year-old Sacramento man, was arraigned Aug. 6 on charges of murder with use of a knife in the death of Stone. He is expected to enter a plea Sept. 3. According to witnesses, and surveillance video, Agnew walked up to Stone and a customer, then used spray paint from the store to color his face in Oakland
Contra Costa County Sheriff's Lt. John Moreland addresses residents on emergency response times during a meeting in El Sobrante on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, after the Aug. 4 stabbing death of a man in El Sobrante. (Robert Rogers/Bay Area News Group)
Raiders' silver and black before stabbing Stone. Prosecutors say Agnew explained later that he was on a "mission from Allah to help people."

Residents also questioned why Stone was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek rather than the closer Highland General Hospital in Oakland.

Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services medical director Dr. Joe Barger said the decision was made by personnel at the scene. Foggy conditions that day prevented Stone from being flown to the hospital. The ambulance ride took 21 minutes and arrival time was 9:42 a.m.,

Barger said. Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo is just a few miles away, but Barger said John Muir Medical Center is a designated trauma center equipped to handle life-threatening injuries.

Stone was pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m.

Barger said "It's very hard to know" whether Stone could have survived if he received treatment earlier.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or Follow him at .
Add a comment...

Dmitry Golovin · Concord, California
Edyn Orr the patient had to be transported to walnut creek because that is where the trauma center is. Doctors hospital and Kaiser do not have trauma surgeons or doctors to help this patient. Reply · 1 · · Yesterday at 10:38am
Edyn Orr · Top Commenter
AH yes...they do have the best trauma center. If something ever happens to me and mine I hope I'm close to it because what use is a hospital in San Pablo or El Sobrante if all they are capable of handling are rug burns. This is actually a weak excuse. Get some doctors in those hospitals that can handle trauma. Reply · · 5 hours ago
Edyn Orr · Top Commenter
I get that they had to secure the scene, but why did they drive all the way to Walnut Creek. That's a long drive through Highway 4 when there are is a hospital 5 minutes down the road. That IS weird. That was the personnel's decision? I hope if I get hurt in El Sobrante, these same personnel aren't called to help me. I do applaud people that are brave enough to be paramedics, but please make good decisions when you are caring for me or mine. Reply · · Yesterday at 10:28am
Sheri Sanders · TBD at NYB (Nun Ya Business)
oh my god I just read the article! If it would have been an officer down the police would have had the paramedics on him right away! and the hospital in San Pablo could have stabelized him! Reply · · Yesterday at 10:20pm
Sharon Macari Herzog · Walnut Creek, California
why show a picture of the killer and not the victim? Reply · · 13 hours ago

Sheriff's official timeline of events in El Sobrante Stabbing

By Robert Rogers

Contra Costa Times

Timeline of events according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office in the Aug. 4 stabbing in El Sobrante that left one man dead.

9 a.m., Deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a report of an armed robbery call at Oliver's Ace Hardware on San Pablo Dam Road.

9:02 a.m., Dispatch received further information that an employee had been stabbed, and that the possible suspect was seen running on Appian Way. Dispatch then relayed this information to deputies responding to the call.

9:03 a.m., Contra Costa Fire dispatches Engine 69 and AMR to stage for a robbery victim at Oliver's Ace Hardware (4071 San Pablo Damn Road).

9:03 a.m., Contra Costa Fire Engine 69 confirms receiving dispatch.

9:03 a.m., the first deputy sheriffs arrived at Appian Way and San Pablo Dam Road. Witnesses told the deputies that the suspect was under the bridge. The deputies immediately began to pursue the suspect, considered to be armed and dangerous and a threat to the community.

9:04 a.m., a supervising sergeant instructs a deputy to respond directly to the victim. This was done to ensure that the scene was safe for fire and AMR to enter so that Stone received medical attention as soon as possible. That Deputy traveled Code 3 (lights and siren) to the victim's location.

9:05 a.m., Engine 69 staged at Station 69, awaiting notification to respond into the scene.

9:07 a.m., a deputy arrives to assess the situation and assists in first aid.

9:07 a.m., AMR arrives at scene and begins staging for response.(STAGING for RESPONSE??)

9:09 a.m., the deputy clears fire to enter the scene.

9:10 a.m., Deputies located the suspect in a house on Campbell Lane.

9:11 a.m., Engine 69 advised to respond into the scene.

9:12 a.m., AMR arrives on scene from nearby staging area.

9:12 a.m., deputies detain the suspect and take him into custody.

9:13 a.m., Engine 69 on scene and requests medical helicopter.

9:15 a.m., REACH3 helicopter identifies 16 minutes ETA to hospital for patient pick-up.

9:17 a.m., REACH3 helicopter declined to transport victim to Doctors due to weather conditions.(DRIVE to Doctor's WOULD BE 5 - 6 MINS AT MOST)

9:18 a.m., Engine 69 advises ground transport of patient to John Muir Medical Center.(WHY??)

9:21 a.m., AMR transports patient to John Muir Medical Center. Two firefighters accompany AMR and patient to hospital.

9:42 a.m., AMR arrives at John Muir Medical Center and transfers patient.(MAKING A TOTAL OF 42 MINS. TO GET TO A HOSPITAL)

Additional notes

County Supervisor John Gioia, who moderated the community meeting Wednesday night in El Sobrante, stressed that emergency personnel must secure a scene before administering aid.

"They don't know who has got a gun in their hand," when they first arrive, Gioia said.

Some residents said it was inexcusable that paramedics were near the scene for five minutes before assisting Stone. The AMR ambulance arrived at 9:07 a.m. and staged at a liquor store across the street according to dispatch records.

A county fire engine staged at a fire station a few blocks away at 9:05 a.m. At 9:09 a.m. a deputy notified dispatch to send in the fire unit, and dispatch relayed that message at 9:11 a.m., notifying AMR one minute later.

While the crowd at the special meeting at the El Sobrante Library was initially skeptical, officials seemed to persuade many with the timeline.

"By the end of the night, we were getting a lot of thank yous and congratulatory applauses," said Jason Sampson, an operations manager for American Medical Response. "People were receptive to accurate, clear information."

Mechanics Bank in El Sobrante has a fund in Stone's honor to benefit his mother, Dorothy Pinto, whom he supported. Donations can be made in person or mailed to the branch in the name of Dorothy Pinto, attention Brandy Buras, 3884 San Pablo Dam Rd., El Sobrante, CA 94803. The account number is #4181-8423, or call 510-243-9620 for more details.

A community memorial and potluck event for Stone is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at Richmond Elks Lodge, 3931 San Pablo Dam Road, in El Sobrante.