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Everything We Know About Bob Lee’s Final Hours Before His Death

Written by The Standard StaffPublished Apr. 08, 2023 • 7:00am
Tributes were left for Bob Lee on Main Street. | Noah Berger/The Standard

The killing of Cash App creator Bob Lee reignited San Francisco’s public safety debate and has made international headlines. 

Details of what happened to the beloved tech entrepreneur, affectionately known as “Crazy Bob” to his friends, remain scant and San Francisco police have remained tight-lipped on the case. They have announced no suspects or possible motive in the homicide.

Lee died in a hospital after sustaining two stab wounds in the area of Main Street in San Francisco’s Rincon Hill neighborhood at around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. He was visiting from his Miami home for a MobileCoin leadership summit.

Lee was an early investor in MobileCoin, and later joined the company, a San Francisco startup, as its chief product officer.

READ MORE: Bob Lee Killing: A Tipping Point in a City Fed Up With Crime?

His Final Moments

Workers clean what they believe to be human blood off the exterior of The Portside at 403 Main St. | Jonah Lamb/The Standard

Exactly where Lee was stabbed, or by whom, is unclear.

Surveillance footage reviewed by The Standard shows Lee, who had already been stabbed, walking up Main Street away from the Bay Bridge at around 2:30 a.m. Lee crosses the intersection at Harrison Street and walks up to a parked white Camry with its hazard lights flashing.

Lee then lifts his shirt—as if to show the driver his wound and ask for help—and falls to the ground after the car drives away, the footage shows. He gets up and walks back toward the Bay Bridge before falling to the ground again outside an apartment building called the Portside.

At some point, Lee dialed 911 and repeatedly screamed for help, saying he needed to go to the hospital, according to the records reviewed by The Standard. Lee made the call at 2:34 a.m., and police arrived on the scene less than six minutes later.

The Daily Mail published video from the 403 Main St. entry of Portside apartment building that shows Lee’s desperate attempts to get help as he bled out, clutching his wounds and his cell phone.

READ MORE: Bob Lee Killing Not a Sign of a Violent Crime Wave in San Francisco

New Information

The distance between Bob Lee's hotel and where he was found by police | Google Maps

The Standard followed multiple leads to piece together Lee’s final hours on Monday night and Tuesday morning. 

Lee’s friend, Bay Area bar entrepreneur Doug Dalton, said Lee was staying at 1 Hotel on the Embarcadero, half a mile from where he was found stabbed. The hotel was contacted for comment but did not respond.

Police have pulled surveillance footage from a number of buildings in the area, including the Lumina luxury apartment complex at 201 Folsom St., which borders Main Street close to where police found Lee bleeding out, according to an internal memo from building management obtained by The Standard.

READ MORE: Bob Lee’s Downtown SF Killing Sparks Rage at ‘Lawless’ City

A Twitter image shows Bob Lee, the former chief technology officer of Square.

Lumina staff declined to share the footage with The Standard.

Lumina management started handing out printed notes from its front desk on Thursday telling reporters it does not have footage to share. As yet, there is no evidence to suggest Lee was at Lumina on Monday night or Tuesday morning, or that he walked on Folsom or Beale streets near Main Street.

SFPD have yet to release any details on their investigation. The department was contacted for comment but did not provide an update Friday.

“I have nothing to share yet,” SFPD Chief Bill Scott said at a Police Commission meeting on Wednesday evening. “We don’t want to be premature and definitely we don’t want to speculate, so we are going to be thoughtful about following the evidence and we’ll put out what we’ll put out as soon as we can.”

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