SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The violent death of Cash App founder and tech mogul Bob Lee sent shockwaves through the tech-centric city of San Francisco.
Lee, 43, made desperate attempts to flag down passing cars while he was bleeding to death in the Rincon Hill neighborhood on April 4, surveillance camera footage shows. But no one helped him. Lee called 911, staggered in front of a luxury apartment building, and collapsed to the ground clutching his wounded torso.
Police found the father of two bleeding on Main Street at 2:35 a.m., but it was too late. San Francisco police were tight-lipped about their investigation until Thursday, when a murder arrest was made. The police chief and San Francisco District Attorney held a news conference and said Lee knew his killer.
Bob Lee Murder Timeline
April 1, 2023
Lee, the chief product officer of MobileCoin cryptocurrency company and creator of Cash App, traveled to San Francisco for a business trip. The technology executive had moved from the Bay Area to Florida just a few months earlier, but he was back in San Francisco for business.
Lee also visited with friends while in San Francisco. One of his friends, Doug Dalton, told KRON4 that he attended a birthday party dinner with Lee over the weekend of April 1-2. Photographs show Lee looked happy at the party. “He was incredibly personable, wonderfully friendly, and just a force of nature,” Dalton said.
Early morning hours of April 4, 2023
According to reports, Lee and Nima Momeni traveled in a car together not long before the homicide. Momeni, 38, of Emeryville, is the owner of Expand IT, a Bay Area technology and security company. After Lee was stabbed, at 2:35 a.m., he was seen on surveillance video bleeding and staggering around outside the affluent Portside apartment building.
The San Francisco Police Department wrote the following statement from its preliminary investigation: “On April 4, 2023, at approximately 2:35 a.m., San Francisco Police officers from Southern Station responded to the 300 block of Main Street for a report of a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, later identified as 43-year-old Robert Lee, suffering from apparent stab wounds. Officers rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene. The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Despite efforts by first responders and medical personnel, the victim succumbed to injuries.”
Night of April 4, 2023
News of Lee’s death first surfaced through his friends and fellow tech executives who expressed outrage on Twitter on the night of April 4. One of Lee’s close friends, MMA fighter Jake Shields, wrote on Twitter, “I just found out my good friend was killed last night while walking him in San Francisco. He was in the ‘good’ part of the city and appeared to have been targeted in a random mugging/attack. F**k San Francisco.”
San Francisco made national news headlines proclaiming the city as “lawless.”
April 5, 2023
Lee’s father wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook April 5.
Lee’s father wrote, “I just lost my best friend, my son Bob Lee when he lost his life. I moved to Mill Valley, CA with Bob after his mother died in 2019 and we recently relocated to Miami in Oct 2022. Life has been an adventure with two bachelors living together, and I’m so happy that we were able to become so close these last years. Bob would give you the shirt off his back. He would never look down on anyone and adhered to a strict no-judgment philosophy. Bobby worked harder than anyone and was the smartest person I have ever known.”
April 6, 2023
The Daily Mail obtained and published surveillance video showing Lee’s final moments. The gravely wounded man approaches a nearby car, leans over the hood, and appears to beg for help. The motorist drives off, leaving Lee alone.
Lee appears dazed and alternates between standing, staggering, and laying down on the sidewalk. According to the San Francisco Standard, Lee called 911 and screamed, “Help! Someone stabbed me.”
April 13, 2023
Police arrested Nima Momeni at his home in Emeryville on the morning of April 13. He was booked into a San Francisco jail on one count of murder, according to inmate records.
Early rumors that Lee was randomly stabbed in the street stirred up fear in the city. But the rumors were false. Police Chief Bill Scott told reporters on Thursday, “We can confirm that Mr. Lee and Mr. Momeni knew each other. Mr. Momeni is our focus as the single suspect of this case.”
When asked about a possible motive behind the killing, Chief Scott declined to answer. He explained, “I don’t want to put out information that is going to come back and haunt us in this case. There is still more work to be done.”
The District Attorney’s Office charged Momeni with one court of murder and added an enhancement for using a knife.
“I thank the San Francisco Police Department for their tireless efforts to solve this case,” DA Jenkins said. “With this arrest, we will now work to bring justice and closure for Mr. Lee’s family, friends and our city that has been gripped by this case.”
April 14, 2023
Momeni will make his first court appearance at 9 a.m. Jenkins said she will urge the judge to deny bail for the accused killer because he is a threat to public safety.