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Tesla boosts Gigafactory security over alleged shooting threat

by Justin King

The former employee at the center of an industrial espionage lawsuit allegedly told a friend he would come to the factory and \"shoot the place up.\"

Tesla has increased security at its Nevada Gigafactory after a former employee allegedly made a violent threat.

The situation centers around Martin Tripp, an ex-employee who was recently sued by Tesla for alleged industrial espionage and making false reports to media.

"Yesterday afternoon, we received a phone call from a friend of Mr Tripp telling us that Mr Tripp would be coming to the Gigafactory to 'shoot the place up,'" a spokesperson told CNBC. "Police have been notified and actions are being taken to enhance security at the Gigafactory."

The lawsuit accuses Tripp of hacking Tesla's manufacturing operating system and inserting code that sends proprietary data to outside entities.

The company claims its trouble with Tripp started not long after he was hired in October 2017. He was passed over for a promotion and reassigned after managers found his demeanor to be "disruptive and combative" with colleagues.

Tripp has admitted to downloading data but claims he is a whistleblower, not a saboteur.