Wife of Chandler Intel employee says workplace tensions played role in deadly attack

A wife of a Chandler Intel employee says she believes pay cuts by the company and extra workload could have been a factor in the deadly attack.
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 9:42 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The deadly attack with a baseball bat at the Intel Ocotillo Campus in Chandler continues to reverberate with employees and their families.

One woman, who asked Arizona’s Family not to use her name, said her husband works at the facility. She said he was working the Saturday morning when Derrick Simmons allegedly beat his co-worker, Dan Foster, to death with a baseball bat in the cafeteria. Court documents state he was also killed with a hatchet and knife. Another employee was hit on the back of the head by Simmons with the bat, according to court paperwork.

The woman said she received a text message from Intel just before 7:00 a.m. notifying her of an incident. However, no more details were shared. “At 7:08, my husband texted me and I heard that message. All he said is ‘We’re being evacuated. There’s somebody with a bat,’” she said.

She was confused and worried for his safety. She said she learned a person was hurt from Arizona’s Family. She then turned to prayer. “I decided to wake up my kids and tell them that ‘OK, something’s happened at daddy’s work, and I don’t know what’s going on but just pray for you daddy. Pray for his safety,’” she said.

She also had her pastor and church pray for all the employees at the facility. Her husband made it out safely that day, but the trauma isn’t gone. “He’s doing OK. He’s said he’s had a couple of nightmares regarding it because it is a very scary thing,” she said.

Her husband hasn’t heard why Simmons allegedly attacked employees. However, she believes pay cuts by Intel earlier this year at the Ocotillo campus and extra workload could have been a factor. “When you have all the stress of inflation and gas prices and all the stresses going on outside in the world and come into a hostile work environment where you’re having to do three, four, five people’s job, people are going to snap,” she said.

She hopes the company will take a closer look at how the work environment could be impacting someone already battling their own demons. “It does make you a little fearful of who else is on edge, who else is going to snap,” she said.

Arizona’s Family contacted Intel, asking what types of mental health resources are offered for employees and if any changes have been made at the Ocotillo campus following the attack. We have not heard back.