Early last Wednesday, Microsoft employee Joseph Richard Cantrell stabbed a 26-year-old man in an unprovoked attack. While it only lasted seconds, Cantrell stabbed his victim over a dozen times and caused a skull fracture. The Seattle Times reports that police charged him on Friday with attempted second-degree murder.
The attack happened near Microsoft's Redmond headquarters as the victim was waiting for a crosswalk signal to change. According to King County prosecutors, the victim was also a Microsoft employee.
Interestingly, when the victim fell from the initial attack his Apple Watch sent an alert ping to his wife.
Video footage of the attack, witness statements, and a trail of blood allowed police to locate Cantrell. He was four blocks aways from the scene in an apartment building. A SWAT team took charge and arrested 25-year-old Cantrell.
The perpetrator had recently moved from Georgia to work in Microsoft main headquarters in Redmond. Police believe this was not a personal crime and the victim seems to have been chosen at random. However, they believe that the attack was planned:
“The defendant appears to have been prepared for this significant act of violence. He was equipped with a knife and gloves,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Brynn Jacobson wrote in charging papers. “He assaulted the victim shortly after exiting his apartment building. He then quickly returned to his residence and attempted to get rid of evidence of his involvement.”
First responders answering a 911 call last Wednesday evening were able to treat the victim and learn that he was on his way home from working in Microsoft. He was waiting to cross Northeast Turing Street when he heard someone behind him. While the victim was unable to hear what the man was shouting as he began stabbing his neck and body.
Fighting back, the victim was able to get the attacker to run away as bystanders began to approach. Paramedics took the victim to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where he was treated for stab wounds, brain bleed, and a skull fracture. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Police found the attack after a tip off from two men living in the Verde Esterra Park apartments. They told officers there was a blood trail leading to the fourth-floor of the building. Reviewing surveillance footage provided by Microsoft, police were able to locate the attacker in the building by cross-referencing his clothing. Cantrell was living alone with his pet dog and police made the arrest.
He will now face his arraignment hearing on March 9. Prosecutors are requesting that bail be set at $2 million. Microsoft has yet to offer an official comment on the incident.
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