Elon Musk was publicly criticized by San Francisco’s District Attorney on Thursday after the billionaire tweeted about the violent murder of tech entrepreneur Bob Lee.
San Francisco police announced on Thursday that they had arrested a suspect over the killing of the Cash App founder and former Square executive, who was stabbed to death in the early hours of April 4.
The suspect, 38-year-old Nima Momeni, is a fellow tech worker who knew Lee personally, but details on his motive have not been released.
Lee’s death sparked a torrent of anger last week from VCs and high-profile individuals in the tech industry—including Twitter and Tesla CEO Musk, who took to the platform he owns to lament the “horrific” state of violent crime in San Francisco.
He tagged the city’s DA, Brooke Jenkins, in his tweet, asking her about what action authorities were taking to keep repeat offenders in custody.
Very sorry to hear that. Many people I know have been severely assaulted.
Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.
Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders @BrookeJenkinsSF?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2023
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday to confirm charges against Momeni, Jenkins stressed that the suspect knew Lee, meaning the latter’s death was not the result of a random violent attack.
She went on to call Musk out by name over his public response to the crime.
“I must point out that reckless and irresponsible statements like those contained in Mr. Musk’s tweet that assumed incorrect circumstances about Mr. Lee’s death served to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco, and also negatively impact the pursuit of justice for victims of crime as it spreads misinformation at a time when the police are trying to solve a very difficult case,” Jenkins said.
“We all should and must do better about not contributing to the spread of such misinformation without having actual facts to underlie the statements that we make. Victims deserve that and the residents of San Francisco deserve that.”
Representatives for Musk were not immediately available when contacted by Fortune.
At the same news conference, police Chief Bill Scott said Lee’s killing was “not about San Francisco” but human nature.
“Just put it in any other city. I don’t believe it would have changed the circumstances one bit,” he said. “It happened in San Francisco and that is unfortunate. It’s even more of a tragedy that it happened at all, but this speaks more about human nature. This has nothing to do with San Francisco.”