Suspect in Intel Co-worker Killing Arrested with Bat, Hatchet, Knife

23 Feb, 2023 Liz Carey

                               

Chandler, AZ (WorkersCompensation.com) – A weekend conflict between co-workers ended in one person dead, another injured and a third behind bars, police said. 

Derrick Lemond Simmons, 50, was arrested Saturday after he attacked his co-workers in the cafeteria of an Intel semiconductor facility in Chandler, Ariz.  

Police said they were called to the Intel Ocotillo Campus at 6:15 a.m. Saturday after they received multiple calls about a people injured by a person with a hatchet.  

According to witnesses, after the night shift employees had left, Simmons a man at a table in the cafeteria and hit him multiple times on the head with a baseball bat. Simmons also used a knife and a hatchet in the attack, arrest reports said. When another co-worker at the same cafeteria table tried to intervene, Simmons struck that person on the back of the head with the bat, the document said.  

The victim who died in the attack, appeared to have died from blunt force trauma. The victim had not been publicly identified. The second person in the attack was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. 

After the attack, police found Simmons in front of the building housing the cafeteria holding a blue and black bag that held the weapons used in the attacks, the report said. Simmons told officers he believed that they were looking for him and surrendered.  

Simmons was charged with first degree murder and aggravated assault. Police said they are still looking for a motive or what caused the altercation between the coworkers. The arrest warrant said Simmons had been arrested previously in 2001 on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but details of that case were not immediately available. 

Intel said they were working with law enforcement. 

“After a tragic incident at the Ocotillo campus this morning, Chandler Police are on-site and working closely with Intel Security as they conduct their investigation,” Linda Qian, spokesperson for Intel Arizona said in a statement. 

The Chandler facility is one of two campuses in the state, and the company employs 10,000 employees in the state. 

The attack is the latest in string of attackers killing their coworkers across the country.  

On Feb. 8, Milford Borough Councilman Russell Heller was shot and killed by a former coworker outside of a PSE&G facility in Franklin Township.  

Heller was a distribution manager at PSE&G, and the shooter, Gary Curtis, formerly worked with him.  

After the shooting, police tracked Curtis to a parking lot where he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

“We are heartbroken at the tragic death of Russell Heller,” PSE&G said in a statement. “Russell was an admired employee and a supervisor with over 11 years of service with PSE&G. He will be sorely missed by all and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.” 

In late January, a man shot and killed seven of his coworkers and former coworkers, and injured another, at two Northern California farms.  

Last week, Chunli Zhao pleaded not guilty to seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the January 23 killings in Half Moon Bay, Cal. Officials said 66-year-old Zhao shot five people at the mushroom farm where he worked and lived, killing four, before driving to another farm and fatally shooting three more.  

Prosecutors said the attacks were a matter of workplace violence, that started when Zhao became enraged at a supervisor for telling him he owed $100 for damage to farm equipment that Zhao said was not his fault.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area News in January, Zhao said he didn’t know “what was happening mentally” when the shootings occurred. Zhao also admitted that he carried out the shooting, and express remorse for the attacks. 

And in Jacksonville, Fla., a Dave & Buster’s employee was jailed after a fight with a coworker resulted in the coworkers death. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Cordell Russell, 34, and his coworker Thony Roy, got into a fight on Jan. 21 at the Dave & Buster’s location on the southside of town. When officers arrived at the restaurant, Roy was unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. 

Witnesses told police that Russell worked as a cook at the restaurant, and had been in a bad mood for having to work the whole day. When Roy told Russell to put some food down, witnesses said, Russell snapped and started a fight with Roy.  

When Roy died recently, the officers arrested Russell and said he would be charged in his coworker’s death pending the autopsy report.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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