Tesla employee killed co-worker in California factory parking lot after earlier argument, police say

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A man found dead in the parking lot of Tesla’s Northern California manufacturing plant on Monday was an employee who was shot and killed by a co-worker as he was leaving after his shift, authorities said Tuesday. 

The Fremont Police Department arrested Anthony Solima of Milpitas on a homicide warrant Monday night. Investigators believe Solima and the victim had an argument earlier in the day and that Solima had “suddenly” walked off the job, police said. 

They did not say what the argument was about.  

Anthony Solima, 29, is accused of killing a Tesla co-worker in the parking lot of the company’s California auto plant. 
(Fremont Police Department)

The unidentified victim was found in the parking lot with a gunshot wound just before 3:30 p.m. The Fremont Fire Department responded and provided medical aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Near the scene were several expended .223 caliber casings. Investigators said the victim had just finished his shift at the Fremont facility and was shot as he was leaving. 

Detectives learned of the argument and found Solima around 8:45 p.m. and began conducting surveillance. At 11:15 p.m., they obtained arrest and search warrants and took him into custody as he was getting out of his vehicle in Milpitas. 

A photo of the weapon found in Anthony Solima’s vehicle, police said
(Fremont Police Department)

In the vehicle, authorities found a loaded .223 caliber, short-barrel rifle with no serial number along with a used casing. They said no other suspects are being looked at. 

Solima is being held without bail at the Santa Rita jail. He is expected to appear in court Thursday for his arraignment, according to jail records. 

The Fremont plant is one of several Tesla uses to produce its electric vehicles. The incident occurred the same day Time Magazine announced that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was its Person of the Year. Fox News has reached out to the company. 

During the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk was engaged in a public spat with Alameda County officials over the re-opening of the Fremont facility amid local restrictions. 

Earlier this month, the automaker officially moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas. 

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