SAN FRANCISCO – Cash App founder and former Square chief technology officer Bob Lee was identified as the man stabbed to death early Tuesday morning near downtown San Francisco, according to his current employer, cryptocurrency startup MobileCoin.
Officers responded about 2:35 a.m. to a report of a stabbing in the 300 block of Main Street in the city’s Rincon Hill neighborhood and arrived to find the victim, who was taken to a hospital and succumbed to his injuries there, police said.
The city medical examiner’s office had not yet identified it Tuesday night, but friends and colleagues of Lee told KPIX he was the victim. Early Wednesday morning, MobileCoin confirmed the death of 43-year-old Lee, who was Chief Product Officer for the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency startup.
Lee had moved to Miami late last year, but was in town for the MobileCoin executive meeting last week, staying a few extra nights to see friends
“Bob was a force of nature,” MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard said in a statement to KPIX. “He helped birth Android and CashApp into our world. Moby was his dream: a privacy-protecting wallet for the 21st century. I will miss him every day.”
“Bob was a dad, the former CTO of Square where he created the Cash App & CTO of Mobile Coin. He was a generous decent human being who didn’t deserve to be killed,” Abra CEO Bill Barhydt wrote on Twitter.
On Twitter Tuesday night, a flood of messages were posted praising Lee, many including his @crazybob Twitter handle.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square (now called Block), responded to the news via a post early Wednesday on the decentralized social media app Nostr. “Heartbreaking,” Dorsey wrote. “Bob was instrumental in Square and the Cash App.”
Mixed martial arts fighter Jake Shields remembered Lee as a “loyal friend” in a tweet, writing: “RIP bro.”
Shields’ tweet caught the attention of Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, who said, “Violent crime in SF is terrible, and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.” Musk tagged San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins in his tweet.
On Wednesday morning, Jenkins offered his own statement on his Twitter page.
“I want to express my sincere condolences to Mr. Lee’s family members and loved ones for his loss,” Jenkins said. “We do not condone these horrific acts of violence in San Francisco.”
San Francisco has struggled with an apparent spike in crime as it still tries to bounce back from the pandemic. Preliminary police data report 12 homicides in San Francisco this year, a 20% increase compared to the same time period last year. In total, there were 56 murders in San Francisco in 2022, which is exactly the same number of murders the city saw in 2021.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents the neighborhood where the fatal stabbing occurred, said, “This is a senseless tragedy that I know is made worse by the fact that no suspects are yet in custody.”
He added, “I have also heard from many constituents in the area – some of whom have already expressed concerns to me about public safety challenges – and I am asking everyone to cooperate with the police in their investigation, especially those with access to surveillance video that may help.”
No arrests have been made in the case, and San Francisco police have not released any suspect details.
Anyone with information about the fatal stabbing was asked to call the police’s tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.