Man charged in killing at Arizona Intel facility allegedly beat co-worker with a bat

A Saturday morning altercation involving co-workers in the cafeteria of an Intel semiconductor facility in Chandler, Arizona, left one person dead, another injured, and a third jailed, police said.

Derrick Lemond Simmons, 50, was booked into jail on charges of first degree murder and aggravated assault, Chandler police said in a statement.

Employees who witnessed the incident told police Simmons struck the victim with a baseball bat multiple times following a shift change, according to a probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest. Simmons also used a hatchet and knife, the document alleged. 

When another coworker at the same cafeteria table confronted Simmons, he struck the person on the back of the head with the bat, the document alleges.

The victim, who died from what police said appeared to be blunt-force trauma, has not been publicly unidentified. The second person attacked was hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

A motive or information about what preceded the incident were still under investigation, they said. Simmons was arrested in 2001 on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the probable cause statement. Details about that case were not immediately available.

It wasn’t clear if Simmons has retained legal counsel for the case. The Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After the alleged attack, officers found Simmons in front of the building where the incident took place, according to the court filing. He held a black and blue bag that contained the weapons, the document alleged.

He told arriving officers he believed they were looking for him and surrendered, the probable cause statement said.

Officers were called to the Intel Ocotillo Campus at 6:15 a.m. Saturday based on multiple 911 calls about a person with a hatchet and people injured, police said in the document.

The facility was developed on 700 acres in the 1990s as part of the company’s multi-billion-dollar investment in “high-volume semiconductor manufacturing capacity,” according to a page about the Arizona location.

The Chandler facility is approximately 25 miles south of Phoenix. Intel said it established its first presence in Arizona in 1979 and now has two campuses and 10,000 employees in the state.

“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.

Earlier, police made it clear they did not believe the incident involved gunfire.

There was no ongoing threat or danger to the public, Chandler Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Emma Huenneke said earlier on Saturday.

Erick Mendoza contributed.

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