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Sunday, March 8, 2009

[FL] Corrections Officer Bazzell stabs ex-girlfriend Officer Ocker, kills self and Officer Sanderson, & injures Officer Jackson

With blood pouring from her body and her 4-year-old son by her side, Rebecca Ocker begged a 911 dispatcher for help... "My ex-boyfriend just stabbed the hell out of me. He stabbed me in my head, in my neck, in my chest and … he was stabbing me with something... You have to hurry, I'm bleeding all over the place"...

  • Department of Corrections Donald Lee Bazzell Jr.
  • Department of Corrections Adam Michael Sanderson
  • Department of Corrections Rebecca Ocker
  • Department of Corrections Frederick "Fred" Dale Jackson
updated 10:17 a.m. PT, Sun., March. 8, 2009
[Excerpts] Two drivers -- both state corrections employees -- were killed in a head-on collision that authorities believe may be connected to the stabbing of another corrections officer in a domestic violence incident. Union County deputies were investigating the stabbing in a home on Southwest Seventh Street at about 10 a.m. Friday when they learned that a pickup truck thought to have left the stabbing scene had crashed into a Department of Corrections van on county Road 231 about three miles from the home just south of Lake Butler. Both the driver of the pickup, 42-year-old Donald Bazzell, and the driver of the DOC van, 32-year-old Adam Sanderson, died in the collision. Fred Jackson, 41, was a passenger in the DOC van. He was airlifted to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville with serious injuries. The stabbing victim, 26-year-old Rebecca Ocker, was stabbed in the head, face and arms. "My ex-boyfriend just stabbed the hell out of me. He stabbed me in my head, in my neck, in my chest and … he was stabbing me with something," Ocker told the 911 operator. "You have to hurry, I'm bleeding all over the place." In call she also told the emergency operator that her boyfriend had beaten her with a baseball bat... Deputies described Bazzell as the boyfriend of the woman stabbed. Ocker's 4-year-old son was in the home when she was stabbed and was not hurt. Sheriff Jerry Whitehead told Channel 4 that the four people involved in both incidents were all employees of the Department of Corrections... "For some reason the driver of the pickup truck crossed the center line and struck the van head-on. Both drivers died at the scene," said FHP Lt. Bill Leeper... Investigators said the prison van was on its way back to the state reception and medical center. According to the sheriff, Sanderson and Jackson had just completed a training exercise... "This is a tragic day for the department," said DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger in a statement. "We are in the process of absorbing the shock and are praying for the victims' families"... Bazzell and Ocker both worked at Florida State Prison in neighboring Bradford County. The officers in the DOC van work at the Reception And Medical Center in Union County. [Full article here]

Officers' death crash follows mother's 911 plea for help
By Jim Schoettler
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2009
[Excerpts] With blood pouring from her body and her 4-year-old son by her side, Rebecca Ocker begged a 911 dispatcher for help. "My ex-boyfriend just stabbed the hell out of me ... in my head, in my neck, in my chest," Ocker cried. "I don't know what happened." It was Friday at 9:38 a.m. in Ocker's Lake Butler mobile home. Union County deputies said Ocker had just been attacked by her former boyfriend, Donald Bazzell Jr., who minutes after her call would kill himself and another man in a head-on collision a few miles away... After describing the gray tank-top Bazzell was wearing when he left, Ocker, 26, continued to scream. "You've got to hurry up, I'm bleeding all over the place," she said. Deputies arrived moments later and found Ocker on the sofa with her unharmed child, who authorities believe also was Bazzell's son... Within a few minutes, more 911 calls came pouring in, this time to report the head-on wreck on County Road 231... Bazzell, 42, of Melrose, drove his southbound black Ford F-150 pickup truck across the center line, plowing into a prison van being driven north by Adam Sanderson, 32. Sanderson and fellow officer Frederick Jackson, 41... Bazzell and Sanderson, of Gainesville, were killed instantly. Jackson, of Lake Butler, was rescued from the van and taken to Shands at the University of Florida... Bazzell was a corrections officer from 1992 to 1997, left voluntarily and was rehired in 2006 to work at Florida State Prison, said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. She said his record showed no disciplinary history or other problems. Bazzell was married and had two teenage sons, said April Cox, the sister-in-law of Bazzell's wife. Sanderson was hired as an officer in 1998. Jackson has been an officer since 1990. Plessinger said Ocker worked at Florida State Prison since late 2007... [Full article here]

By Lise Fisher
Staff writer
March 7, 2009
[Excerpt] ..."We're all in the process of absorbing the shock," DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said Friday afternoon. Counselors and chaplains were at both prison facilities to help employees deal with reports of the crash and news of the deaths and injuries, she said. Whitehead said investigators had only taken an initial report from Ocker about the stabbing and expected to speak with her possibly today about what had happened inside the home [Full article here]


  1. Regardless of who did what and what happened, there was a child involved who will never be the same ever again.

  2. Regardless of what was done and what happened, a child was involved and he will never be the same ever again.

  3. Actually, her son is not his son....I know his father, and I don't know how people can say the stabbings were superficial, or she would not have been released from the hospital, and also there are no photos of the incident, so people need to wait for facts before they make any further comments. Keep in mind, all of the deceased family members are having to deal with this horrible situation.

  4. I deleted a couple of rude comments. I must have been sleep walking to have ever approved them.

  5. AnonymousJune 13, 2009

    I am the wife of Donald Bazzell Jr, I may not know exactly what happened that day but I know Donnie, I know he was not the person to do the things that he was accused of, i think that he and ms Ocker got into an arguement, she started hurting herself he got scared took off in a hurry lost control of his vehicle at the wosrt moment possible and the accident happened, I of all people was very angry with Donnie because of the affair. BUT I KNOW HE WOULD "NEVER" intentionaly take anothers life. He was a wonderful father, and he is sorely missed. I am truly sorry so many lives were affected by this horrible disaster. But I do want everyone to know that he was not the person everyone is making him out to be.

  6. I'm adam sandersons brother and my mom went to school with the sheriff we know the ocker is to blame just as much as bazzell is in taking my brothers life it was a stupid choice that has completely ruined my life but stupid decisions are made and bad consequences happen anyone is capable of what you think their not capable off tony left there knowing what he did and knew what was gonna happen to him and took the easy way out and I know this by talking to everyone involved don't defend him he did it it was selfish 2 year anniversary

    1. My name is Renee Bazzell I was the wife of Donnie Bazzell ,I can not begin to tell you how this tragedy has affected my life. I have felt so guilty about what happened to your brother. I always wondered if I had been able to keep him happy at home, he wouldn't have had the affair. then your brother or Donnie would not be dead right now. It has been almost five years and I am still devastated by what happened. Everytime I see a correctional officer I have panic attacks and living in florida it happens quite frequently. I know that saying I'm sorry will never be enough for your family, but I am very sorry

    2. Please don't blame yourself. It's common to feel that way but try to see how this was really out of your hands. I'm so sorry for everyones' loss of loved ones.

  7. AnonymousJune 17, 2012

    Please hear me when I say this, no one truly knew what Don did because he is not here to defend himself anymore I may not know either but please if the truth is not solid don't ruin someones family by stating things that can scar others for life... Please don't ruin Don's name if he cannot state his defense while he is gone...


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