UNITED STATES. San Francisco: Cash App’s founder, Bob Lee, was fatally stabbed on Tuesday near San Francisco’s central business district, his family has stated.
A 43-year-old male was found by police with stab wounds, and after receiving medical attention, he later passed away in the hospital.
His father, Rick Lee, who was also the former chief technology officer of Square, confirmed his son’s death.
Officials in San Francisco have come under fire for how they handled a surge in violent crime in recent years. The most recent crime statistics suggest that the metropolis is one of the most dangerous in the US.
On Tuesday, at about 2:35 local time (10:35 BST), police officers responded to reports of the stabbing.
The San Francisco Standard saw a CCTV video of Lee walking down an empty alleyway and what looked like him looking for help.
Lee is seen stumbling towards a parked car and lifting his shirt to show his wound, but the car drives off before the tech entrepreneur falls to the ground.
As per the San Francisco Chronicle, when police discovered Lee unconscious and suffering from two stab wounds to his torso in the Rincon Hill neighbourhood, they began aiding him before rushing him to the hospital.
On Wednesday, Lee’s father wrote a message on Facebook, saying, “I just lost my best friend, my son Bob Lee, when he lost his life on the street in San Francisco early Tuesday morning.”
Lee was residing in Miami, Florida, but was travelling to San Francisco for a leadership summit and also staying there to see his friends, according to CBS News.
Lee’s brother, Tim Oliver Lee, also wrote on Facebook: “He was the best of us. I was so fortunate to grow up with him, and I feel like I’ve lost part of myself.”
At the time of his passing, Lee was serving as chief product officer at Mobile Coin, a cryptocurrency company. Bill Barhydt, the CEO of the cryptocurrency firm Abra, noted on Twitter that Lee was also a father and said, “He was a generous, decent human being who didn’t deserve to be killed.”
Forbes says that Cash App, a payment app for smartphones that lets people send money to each other, is now worth $40 billion (£32 billion).
Its user base has grown rapidly since its debut in 2013, reaching seven million monthly active users in 2017 and rising to 30 million in 2020.
Lee’s death has brought up new concerns about violent crime in the city of California.
Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla and the CEO of Twitter, reacted to tributes to Lee by saying, “Violent crime in [San Francisco] is horrific, and even if attackers are caught, they are frequently released immediately.”
According to data from 2021, the city is more dangerous than 98% of US cities, with residents having a 1 in 16 chance of becoming victims of violent or property crime each year, according to the Hoover Institution, a policy research think tank.
Since the pandemic, San Francisco has experienced a particularly high rate of homicides.
In 2021 and 2022, there were 56 homicides in the city, and according to early police statistics, there have already been 12 this year.
San Francisco police have not yet named a suspect in this case, and no arrests have been made as part of the ongoing investigation. The district attorney for San Francisco, Brooke Jenkins, tweeted a tip line number with the message, “We do not tolerate these horrific acts of violence in San Francisco.”
The killing of Bob Lee is “a horrible tragedy,” San Francisco’s Mayor, London Breed, said in a statement, assuring the public that the city is “prioritising public safety.”
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