Cash App founder Bob Lee stabbed to death in San Francisco

Cash App founder Bob Lee stabbed to death in San Francisco

Technology executive Bob Lee, who founded mobile payment service Cash App, was killed in a stabbing in San Francisco, according to authorities and media reports.

Police responded around 2:35 am Tuesday to a report of a stabbing on Main Street in the Rincon Hill neighborhood near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Police Department said in a press release. Police officers found a 43-year-old man with stab wounds and administered help.

After paramedics were called to the scene, the man was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said. The attack is under investigation and no one has been arrested.

The Police Department declined to provide further information, citing the ongoing investigation, but multiple media outlets reported that Lee, who was chief product officer at cryptocurrency startup MobileCoin, was the victim.

The murder has reignited concerns among some senior figures about public safety in San Francisco, where a progressive district attorney who has become a lightning rod for controversies over crime and homelessness was recalled by voters last year. His replacement, Brooke Jenkins, said in her appointment that San Francisco was “at a tipping point.”

“I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr. Lee for your loss,” he said. Jenkins tweeted Wednesday. “We do not tolerate these horrible acts of violence in San Francisco.”

Reactions from the tech world included Twitter Chief Executive Elon Muskwho expressed condolences to a friend of Lee’s and asked Jenkins if the city is “taking stronger steps to incarcerate repeat violent offenders,” though it’s unclear whether the person who attacked Lee has a criminal history.

“Violent crime in SF is horrible and even if perpetrators are caught they are often released immediately,” Musk tweeted.

Later on Wednesday, Jenkins updated his statement on Twitter, saying that “holding violent/repeat offenders accountable is a priority for my administration.”

“Nobody who commits a violent crime or is a repeat offender is getting overly lenient settlements,” he said. Jenkins said.

Lee’s friend, mixed martial artist Jake Shields, wrote on Twitter that Lee “was in the ‘good’ part of town” when he was stabbed, on a block near luxury condominium complexes and many office buildings, including the Salesforce Tower and the Google offices.

While public concerns about crime have gripped San Francisco in recent years, adding fuel to last year’s district attorney’s recall campaign and pressuring senior officials to adopt more law-and-order stances, overall violent crime has dropped 13.6% from 2019 to 2022 and from 6,152 to 5,315 incidents, according to police statistics.

Still, some individual crime categories increased during that time: homicides rose 36.6%, from 41 to 56, although the count in 2019 represented the lowest number of murders in San Francisco in over half a century.

The Police Department investigated 12 homicides this year, compared with 10 in the same period last year, according to crime statistics.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents the area where Lee was killed, said he heard from constituents who expressed concerns about public safety and encouraged residents to help with the investigation, especially those with surveillance videos.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends and loved ones of Mr. Lee”, dorsey tweeted. “This is a senseless tragedy which I know is made worse by the fact that no suspects are yet in custody.”

MobileCoin Chief Executive Joshua Goldbard said, “There will never be anyone like” Lee.

“As a lifelong Bay Area resident, I have more questions than answers tonight,” he wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “I don’t know how to fix what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t working in our gray city.”

MobileCoin released a statement regarding Lee’s death, but did not release any details.

“Our dear friend and colleague Bob Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 43, leaving behind a loving family and a collection of close friends and collaborators,” the statement said.

“He was made for the world that is now being born. Bob was a child of dreams, and whatever he imagined, no matter how crazy, he made real,” said MobileCoin. “Bob was made for the new world.”

Lee has been with MobileCoin since 2021 and previously served as CTO at payments platform Square, which has since been rebranded as Block, as well as founding Cash App.

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