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Police: Tesla Shooting Suspect Ambushed Co-Worker In Parking Lot

FREMONT (CBS SF) -- After arguing with a co-worker, a Tesla employee quit his job, left the company's Fremont plant only to return, armed with an AR-15 ghost gun, and fatally shot the man as he was getting into his Toyota Tundra in the parking lot, according to documents filed by police investigators.

Anthony Solima was charged Thursday with the special-circumstance murder of 42-year-old Lee Braiser. If convicted Solima could face the death penalty.

In a document filed with the charges, Fremont police detective Michael Gebhardt gave a timeline of the fatal Dec. 13 shooting based on evidence collected so far.

READ: Criminal Complaint Against Anthony Solima

Coworkers told police that Braiser had been working beside Solima at the Tesla factory during the morning hours of Dec. 13 when some type of verbal dispute broke out between the two men.

In the wake of the argument, Solima informed his supervisor that he was "quitting" and left the Tesla facility at 11:22 a.m. He left behind various tools that belonged to him including a large red toolbox bearing his initials.

Co-workers told police they saw Braiser driving a modified company golf cart with Solima's red toolbox on its bed at around 2:30 p.m. He was driving the cart out of the factory and toward his parked vehicle.

"Moments later, co-workers in the parking lot 'heard pops' and then saw a gray truck/Suburban driving fast out of the parking lot, 'fishtailing' as it exited," Gebhardt wrote in the document.

An employee found Braiser's body at about 3:10 p.m. Minutes later, Tesla security called 911 reporting the shooting to Fremont police.

Firefighters and officers arrived on scene and found Brasier suffering from at least one head wound. There were three bullet holes in the car door. His keys were still dangling from the door lock. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The vehicle's passenger side window appeared to be shattered and multiple .223 caliber expended shell casings were
found near Brasier's body.

A DMV registration check revealed Solima had a gray 2002 Chevrolet registered to him which matched the description of the suspect vehicle.

Hours later, police spotted Solima's vehicle. They followed it to a 7-Eleven in Milpitas and arrested Solima. On the back floorboard of the vehicle, officers located a short-barrel AR-15 "ghost gun."

Investigators said the rifle was found to have one unfired round in the magazine -- .223 caliber -- which matched expended casings found in the Tesla parking lot. Expended casings were found on the driver's floorboard and an unexpended .223 round in the center console.

Gebhardt wrote that investigators also found an email Solima had sent to someone on Dec. 13 after he had quit his job and left the Tesla property, prior to the shooting.

The email read, "Tell my daughter I loved her Game that you played is over I know who you are [redacted] you're good-- Solima"


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