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What we know about Nima Momeni, Bob Lee’s accused killer

Bob Lee attends the Build Gala honoring Ben Silbermann with the Pitch Prize for Entrepreneurship in San Francisco on March 1, 2014. | Drew Altizer Photography

San Francisco police arrested Nima Momeni Thursday morning in connection with the killing of tech executive Bob Lee. In a press conference, Police Chief Bill Scott said Momeni and Lee were familiar with one another and the attack was not random. “We can confirm Mr. Lee and Mr. Momeni knew each other,” Scott said.

Here is what we know so far.

Momeni, 38, was arrested at his apartment in Emeryville, a 10-minute drive across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. The arrest took place around 5 a.m. A warrant to search his home and take him into custody was served, Scott said, on top of two other warrants served in San Francisco.

READ MORE: SFPD Holds Bob Lee Killing Arrest Press Conference

Sam Singer, a well-known San Francisco public relations professional, is Momeni’s neighbor in the Besler Building, a live-work space.

“[I’m in] absolute shock,” Singer said in an interview about Momeni. “Very nice gentleman, I would not have expected that he would be alleged to have committed a murder or a stabbing of any sort. A thorough professional, a very nice neighbor.”

A screen grab of Nima Momeni's LinkedIn profile

Rosco Siragusa, another neighbor, told The Standard he heard footsteps and saw flashing lights shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday. He thought perhaps there was a fire until he heard voices say, “We have a warrant,” and, “Come out with your hands up.”

Siragusa said he heard those orders several times but never heard any signs of a struggle. He did not hear any banging on a door, but marks on Momeni’s apartment entrance showed evidence of possible forced entry.   

Nima Momeni's apartment door (right) shows signs of what could be forced entry (left). | The Standard

Momeni’s LinkedIn profile describes him as the owner of Expand IT, an Emeryville-based technology and cyber security firm, since 2010.

It’s still unclear how Momeni and Lee might have known each other. Several days ago, San Francisco Mayor London Breed told ABC News: “When some of the facts of many of these cases come out, people are going to be surprised.”

Arguments are the most common circumstances that precede a homicide, according to the latest national data from the FBI. A quarter of all killings nationwide come after an argument.

When a stabbing is involved, an argument is an even more typical precipitating event. An argument preceded at least a third of San Francisco stabbing homicides from 2001 to 2021, according to data from the California Department of Justice. 

A person named Nima Momeni pleaded no contest to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol in a 2008 case in Santa Clara county. He was sentenced to six days jail time. That person also pleaded no contest to driving while unlicensed in a 2013 case in the same county. As a result, Momeni had to take a class and pay a fine of $154.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Momeni was also charged in Alameda County in 2011 for allegedly selling a switchblade and driving with a suspended license, and was fined and sentenced to 10 days in jail.