SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A violent homicide of a high-profile tech CEO in San Francisco triggered a new wave of public safety concerns in the city.
Cash App founder Bob Lee, 43, of Mill Valley, was stabbed to death at 2:35 a.m. Tuesday near the SoMa neighborhood. No arrests have been made, and police did not release a possible motive behind the attack.
Around the same time that Lee was walking on Main Street, a community activist was walking in the nearby Tenderloin neighborhood filming video with his cellphone. Darren Stallcup recorded a haunting sight showing sidewalks lined with people. He was approached by multiple drug dealers.
After hearing of Lee’s violent death, Stallcup stated, “These are dark times in our city. San Francisco is not safe. A fentanyl genocide happening in our community.”
In his 2 a.m. video, men approach Stallcup on 7th and Market streets asking what kind of drugs he’s looking for. “All I can do is put on my tough voice and say ‘naw we good.’ Buying anything from these guys, you just don’t do it. They put fentanyl in weed. They are putting it in pills, weed, and every drug in between.”
Local activist JJ Smith said the city’s 2022 crime crackdown in the Tenderloin pushed some drug dealers into the SoMa neighborhood. Instead of eliminating crime, criminals simply shifted neighborhoods, he said. “It’s just like a cat and mouse game,” Smith said.
Stallcup said his neighborhood, the Tenderloin, feels like “the Wild West.” He told KRON4 that he shot the 2 a.m. video to raise awareness surrounding public safety, homelessness, and to expose just how dire the fentanyl epidemic has become in San Francisco.
Stallcup’s cousin was fatally poisoned by fentanyl-laced marijuana a few weeks ago on Turk Street. While mourning his cousin’s death, Stallcup said he’s decided to launch his own war against fentanyl by organizing marches in the city.
“Fentanyl is unlike any drug ever. It’s extremely deadly and extremely addictive. San Francisco has the cheapest fentanyl, $4. I’m walking around passing out Narcan. I’ve seen first-hand people die. Every morning around 4 or 5 a.m. the medical examiner’s van comes around, it’s a white van with shelves with trays. Each tray can hold one body. Every morning the van picks up bodies,” Stallcup said. “Fentanyl is destroying everyone and everything in its path.”
Stallcup said his video is a snapshot showing not only a fentanyl epidemic, but also a housing and mental health crisis. “The cost of living in San Francisco is higher than New York City, which is ridiculous. There are so many vacant apartment buildings. My landlord just gave me a letter the other day saying your rent is going up.”
While monthly rent prices are climbing, public safety is dropping, he said. “I’ve had to fight off burglars with my own bare hands, three times,” Stallcup said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco-based tech company executives are criticizing the city in reaction to Lee’s death. Elon Musk wrote on Twitter, “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.”
The San Francisco Police Department did not release new details on the homicide Wednesday. Detectives are asking for witnesses to come forward with information by calling the SFPD’s 24-hour tip line at 415-575-4444. You can also text a tip to TIP411 and begin messaging with “SFPD.”