According to New Haven Police Chief, James Lewis, the grad student's death was one that resulted from workplace violence. "It is important to note that this is not about urban crime, university crime, domestic crime but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country," Lewis said during a news conference today.
The suspect in the case is a lab technician named Raymond Clark III that worked in the same building as Le on campus. Numerous news reports say he served in a custodial role at the university campus overseeing the lab mice that Le worked with while pursuing her doctoral degree.
Just in case you don't know the details - Clark has been charged in the death of the 24-year-old Annie Le, who disappeared on September 8th. Her body was discovered five days later (on what was supposed to be her wedding day!). The body was found stuffed into a utility compartment behind a wall in the basement of the research building where she and Clark both worked.
Various news reports are now painting a portrait of Clark that depicts an angry employee who gave workers a hard time for not handling the lab mice or lab tools correctly. In fact, ABC News reported that Clark sent a text message to Le the day she disappeared requesting that they meet to discuss the cleanliness of the mouse cages she had been using. [ABC News]
As details still emerge, the talk of workplace violence has begun circulating. An American human resources firm stated that office suicides jumped 28% in 2008 from the previous year, which many attribute to the recession. [National Post]
According to the United States Department of Labor, violence in the workplace is "a serious safety and health issue" that in its most extreme form leads to homicide. Homicide is the 4th leading cause of fatal occupational injury and in 2005, there were 564 workplace homicides out a total of 5,702 workplace injuries.