Columbiana man dies after stabbing at Calera pharmacy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Calera Police have charged a 52 year-old Calera resident in connection with the stabbing death of a 47-year-old Columbiana man.

Johnny Douglas was repeatedly stabbed inside Cowart Drug Store in Calera Monday afternoon in an unprovoked attack, according to Calera Police Chief Jim Finn.

Finn said Douglas was transported to Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster and then flown to UAB Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 8:20 p.m. Monday night.

Finn identified the attacker as Joseph Agnew of Calera.

He said Agnew was charged with first degree murder Tuesday and is being held in the Shelby County Jail on $500,000 bond.

According to Finn, Agnew went inside the drug store at Highway 31 and 17th Avenue in Calera at about 4:20 p.m. Monday afternoon, approached the victim unprovoked and stabbed him in the stomach with a knife.

Finn said Agnew then stabbed the victim repeatedly. Douglas was stabbed in the front and back and in the leg, he said.

Finn said both the Calera Fire Department and EMT’s were &uot;awesome.&uot; He credited their quick response with giving the victim a chance to survive.

Finn said Agnew was actually arrested on Monday by Calera Fire Marshal and Reserve Police Officer Hilton Shirey.

Finn said he was &uot;very thankful,&uot; about the arrest, because &uot;No one knows what would have happened (had Agnew not been arrested) … what (Shirey) prevented.&uot;

Finn also had words of praise for the Calera Police Department.

He said about eight police officers remained on the scene until 2 or 3 a.m. Tuesday morning marking off the area, locating evidence, mapping the area inside and out and conducting interviews.

&uot;I’m proud to have everyone here on board. I’m blessed to have so many qualified people.

&uot;This is the first murder in Calera in seven years. I’ve been a police officer 23 years and have never seen anything like this,&uot; Finn said.

He called the stabbing totally &uot;unprovoked and undeserved.&uot;

Finn said Agnew was transported to Shelby Baptist to be treated for cuts he received prior to being transported to the jail. He said Agnew was formally charged Tuesday and was expected to face arraignment today (Wednesday)