Bob Lee on a plane
Bob Lee in a 2020 photo from his Twitter account, @CrazyBob.

Mission Local is informed that the San Francisco Police Department early this morning made an arrest in the April 4 killing of tech executive Bob Lee, following an operation undertaken outside the city’s borders. The alleged killer also works in tech and is a man Lee purportedly knew.

We are told that police today were dispatched to Emeryville with a warrant to arrest a man named Nima Momeni. The name and Emeryville address SFPD officers traveled to correspond with this man, the owner of a company called Expand IT.

Multiple police sources have described the predawn knifing last week, which left the 43-year-old Lee dead in a deserted section of downtown San Francisco, as neither a robbery attempt nor a random attack. 

Rather, Lee and Momeni were portrayed by police as being familiar with one another. In the wee hours of April 4, they were purportedly driving together through downtown San Francisco in a car registered to the suspect. 

Some manner of confrontation allegedly commenced while both men were in the vehicle, and potentially continued after Lee exited the car. Police allege that Momeni stabbed Lee multiple times with a knife that was recovered not far from the spot on the 300 block of Main Street to which officers initially responded. 

This scenario would explain, in part, why Lee was walking through a portion of Main Street in which there is little to no foot traffic at 2:30 a.m. That was one of several incongruous circumstances surrounding Lee’s violent death, which law-enforcement sources, from the get-go felt made it far from a straightforward or random crime. 

Nevertheless, some of Lee’s fellow tech luminaries and a chorus of other influential voices portrayed this killing as part and parcel of a city awash in violent crime and on a descent into further chaos. While Lee is one of a dozen homicide victims in San Francisco this year, his is the only killing that has garnered national coverage — or, in most cases, even cursory local coverage. 

San Francisco’s other homicide victims in 2023 are Gavin Boston, 40; Irving Sanchez-Morales, 28; Carlos Romero Flores, 29; Maxwell Maltzman, 18; Demario Lockett, 44; Maxwell Mason, 29; Humberto Avila, 46; Gregory McFarland Jr, 36; Kareem Sims, 43; Debra Lynn Hord, 57; and Jermaine Reeves, 52.

The dozen homicides recorded in San Francisco so far this year, as of April 7, 2023. Map by Will Jarrett. Basemap from Mapbox. Locations are approximate.

San Francisco is home to much in the way of visible public misery, unnerving street behavior and overt drug use. Its property crime rate has long been high, and the police clearance rate for property crimes has long been minimal. But the city’s violent crime rate is at a near-historic low, and is lower than most mid-to-large-sized cities.

Today’s arrest would appear to undermine the premise that Lee’s violent death was due to street conditions in San Francisco. If the police do have their man, this was not a robbery gone bad nor a motiveless assault by some random attacker, but an alleged grievance between men who knew one another, which the suspect purportedly escalated into a lethal conflict.

Homicides per 100,000 residents



Over the past few years,

homicides did rise in San

Francisco – but they remain

low compared to

historic trends


















Homicides per 100,000 residents








Over the past few years,

homicides did rise in San

Francisco – but they remain

low compared to historic trends













Chart by Will Jarrett. Data from the California Department of Justice and the Census Bureau.

Lee’s death, however, was packaged in the media and on social media into a highlight reel of recent San Francisco misfortunes and crimes: large groups of young people brawling at Stonestown; the abrupt closure of the mid-market Whole Foods, leaving San Franciscans just eight other Whole Foods within city limits; the severe beating of former fire commissioner Don Carmignani in the Marina District, allegedly by belligerent homeless people — it all adds up to a feeling of a city coming undone.

This manner of coverage, however, does not capture the actual lived experience of the vast majority of San Franciscans. It also omits potentially mitigating details of the individual events. Carmignani, for instance, was brutally struck in the head with a metal rod and hospitalized. But the lawyer for his alleged attacker claims that the former fire commissioner first pepper-sprayed the homeless man accused of beating him — which certainly would color this incident.

Of note, police sources say that a series of homeless people had previously been pepper-sprayed in the Marina District prior to this instance.

The arrest in the Lee case is a breaking story. We will update or follow this article as soon as possible.


San Francisco records show Nima Momeni was booked into jail at 9:19 a.m.

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. There is a murderer that shot two people, carjacking a car, got in a shootout with police that has been in jail since February 2018, 5 yrs and no trial yet in SF. What is happening in SF courts.

  2. Good read, terrible circumstances, but I especially appreciate the neutrality and unbiased perspective used by the writer. Bravo for the investigators, and my condolences for MrLee, no he did not deserve such a fiasco upon his death but thankfully with the fine work of the investigation may he Rest In Peace.

  3. Thank you for this article and naming the systemic bias that reinforces the belief that some lives are more valuable than others and some deaths more tragic than others. I appreciate the balanced and local reporting of Mission Local.

  4. Well done, Joe and Mission Local. I’d like to hear from the people who drove or walked past the victim as he was gesturing for help. There are many tragedies at play in this incident including seizure of the narrative by the likes of Musk and the SF bashers. I can’t imagine not stopping and calling 911, at a safe distance, for ANY person in distress. What are the folks who did nothing thinking/feeling about not having rendered aid?

  5. Tech bro on tech bro violence. Yeah, I can see why everyone’s pointing out how SF culture is to blame.

  6. We still don’t know why. What was said that brought out the knife? This story is not over yet.

  7. I immediately dismiss the thoughts and comments of anyone using the phrase “lived experience”. All experiences are lived, you idiots.

      1. I disagree. I think a FTUE (First-Time User Experience) is a lived experience, because it involves a series of choices that determine its path.

        Unless there’s a way to trick a bot into following a FTUE.

  8. He was a major pusher of “cryptocurrency”, and “cryptocurrency” is horrible for numerous reasons that he was well aware of. But he didn’t care. He might have had some positive affect on people who dealt with him personally here and there, but overall he was a net negative.

  9. We’ll written Joe! Thank you for presenting the facts and not just shock headlines like other major local news outlets.

  10. Hey all you people in the comments. The incident confirmed all MY pre-conceived notions, not YOURS!

  11. Have 90 year old Clint make another Dirty Harry movie. That should solve the problem.

  12. I love everyone on every side of this issue, but the first rule of investigation is: “Consider The Source”. If you truly believe crime is down and at historic lows you might want to research “CompStat”. It’s how law enforcement agencies track and report crime statistics.

    If you call 911 and report a crime in progress it will only get an immediate response if it is a felony. On an 8 hour shift police are pretty much just going from one felony to the next. Dispatch codes the calls as red/yellow/green and the MCT (mobile computer terminal) in the police cars just keep pushing the highest priority calls. You guessed correctly if you sensed that anything other than a felony in progress is coded green.

    If things slow down and they actually show up and you the victim and/or reporting party aren’t present there is no crime. It’s coded as “GOA” Gone on Arrival when police arrive at a location with no complaint.

    Are you waiting 3-5 hours for the police to show up for your broken car window? Vandalism? Residential burglary? Doubtful.

    If you think crime is down go over to SF General Emergency Room on Friday or Saturday, it’s what’s called “The Knife & Gun Club”

    1. The city has unusually high rates of property crime, such as theft and burglary, though lower-than-average rates of violent crime compared with other US cities. Not sure why you wouldn’t trust the official statistics on that, especially as it relates to violent crime, because that stuff doesn’t go unreported because cops show up late. All the victims in your “Knife & Gun Club” story are counted and part of the statistic, so at this point you’re just making stuff up to suit your narrative.

    2. I work at the SF General and absolutely no one calls the ER “The Knife & Gun Club”. Where the fck did you get something so false? Troll much?

  13. First, always thought there was more to this homicide given the circumstances. Second, as horrible as the death was, I thought one of the frightening things was Lee trying to wave down passersby for help and getting none. THAT is a sign of a community in devolution. In my town, he would have gotten help immediately. Third, I lived in Oakland in the 80’s during the height of the crack epidemic and went into SF every day to pick up my partner from work. I witnessed crime on a daily basis and was victim of such. Visited SF in early 2020 and felt more unsettled than I ever felt when I lived there 40 years prior. May be perception but that IS reality too. Lastly, the SF news keeps reporting “reported” violent crime is down which it only is if people stop reporting things like rape and assaults because they don’t believe cops can do anything or DA’s won’t prosecute. Relying on massaged stats rather than what you see all around you is Nero fiddling. Btw – 12 homicides in first 3 months of the year in a relatively small (in population) city is very worrisome.

    1. Twelve homicides in the first quarter are twelve too many – I give you that – but compared to other big cities in America it’s still below average. It’s simply not true that violent crimes are undercounted because people stop reporting rape and assault. People don’t report a smashed car window – but not reporting rape or assault is definitely not the norm.

    2. Yes, I want to point out that the frightening thing is that no passersby helped. That happened to myself and a dear friend of mine when we both a victim of violent crime. Finally, someone picked up their cell phone to call ambulance and police. This just adds to the fact that people could care less about people, for the most part, in s.f. these days.

      1. I must agree. I’m an 80 yr old woman who tripped & fell on an uneven sidewalk mid day. I laid there on the concrete with people rushing by til a gardener is a truck stopped & helped me up. People just don’t care.

  14. > the abrupt closure of the mid-market Whole Foods, leaving San Franciscans just eight other Whole Foods within city limits <

    OMG! I had no idea San Francisco had descended into such a post-apocalyptic horror ! It’s a veritable food desert!

  15. To all the people in the comments who are saying, “yeah, but SF is still unsafe because of the homeless and drug addicted” – shame on you. In a city with one of the largest wealth inequalities in the world, to insinuate that the unhoused and the drug addicted are the problem or a danger, is why San Francisco is so fucked up. Because of residents like you who would rather police or hide the problem away in shitty shelters instead of actually HELPING people. The visuals are the problem for you, not that people actually need help.

    Were you never taught empathy or compassion? I highly suggest binge watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Maybe that way you all can catch up on how to be a decent human being. Maybe. Although, it might be too late for most of you.

    Condolences to Bob Lee’s family, and to the families of everyone else who was murdered so far this year that received no news coverage.

  16. Didn’t Elon Musk fire a bunch of people?
    That’s quite a bit of violence he’s brought
    to the tech community.

  17. So, everyone can exhale with relief that Bob was killed by an acquaintance as opposed to the countless homeless and drug addicted dwellers that one must encounter in daily living within the city. Ok—

    1. San Francisco’s homeless problem is one of its own creation. Leaving a sarcastic comment on a news article won’t change that uncomfortable truth.

    2. I’m confused. Did the countless homeless and drug addicted dweller kill him and you have different information?

  18. Well writ. Numerous facets & factors presented, providing food for discussion (as evidenced by the disparate comments) & for further inquiry into those & into the massively broad issues related thereto. Thanx.

  19. As a long time SF resident I feel this Tech on Tech violence is getting out of hand. I won’t wait for this story to run on Faux News with the information that “…the city’s violent crime rate is at a near-historic low, and is lower than most mid-to-large-sized cities.”

    1. Do you ever personally feel like your unoriginal, tired rants are the cause of your repetitive miserable ground hog day existence or is it the other way around?

  20. World class reporting.
    Thank you.
    We don’t fear being murdered by today’s usual suspects.
    One may recall last century we had a retail casket store (you know – for funerals) around 14th and Valencia and the Norteños/Sureños shootouts/drive-bys.
    That was pretty freakin’ grim.

    On the flip side – this week’s event roster:

    We had the return of crowbar man.
    Think you’re safe behind that gate at your front door?
    Crowbar man pops it like a can of beer.

    Somebody figured out how to get into the middle of the block, roamed around and exited thru our side door.

    Wonder how we’ll end up the week.

  21. “ONLY” eight other Whole Foods in a city 7 miles on a side? That’s already too many Whole Foods! How many Safeways are there? How many Trader Joe’s? 11 Safeways and 6 TJs. So Amazon made a bad business decision. Thru closed all their cashless locations and nobody blamed crime for that. This is corporate maneuvering at its finest to influence the public. Vote strong anti crime. Get rid of Chesa Boudin! (Crime hasn’t changed any with new DA?)
    Murders on the Street! Drug overdoses and no safe injection sites! Do you see the disconnect! None of tge national press will make a big point out of this murder NOT being street crime. Nobody makes enough noise about the couch wanting to incarcerate fentanyl users instead of giving them a safe place to use and perhaps getting some help!

    1. I love it. Great point. I don’t think the citizens are gonna get over the trauma of now only having 8 Whole Foods stores to meander thru for sustenance. Perhaps some mobile PTSD relief centers for these people. Jeez louise, I can’t believe what this world has become. F***ing joke…

  22. I’m guessing the police gave the suspect a little time to step forward with a lawyer. The fact that the suspect kept quiet instead should benefit the prosecution. Great police work.

  23. I’m not sure it’s kosher to underplay the use of pepper spray. There must be a reason people are carrying. If it gets you “brutally struck in the head with a metal rod,” then you probably had a good reason to use it in the first place. We are still grieving in Nashville over the Covenant murders. We’ve lost our innocence as a beautiful and safe city. Plus, whether it’s 18 or 8 homicides per 100,000 residents, that’s still awful. Lot of twisted people in America. The “defund the police” people are nuts.

    1. Hahaha Good point. The folks that are for police depts. being defended without a doubt will be the first ones to complain and bitch openly about ‘lack of police protection’, or ‘why did the police take so long’, and on and on etc., when they personally are violent crime victims. Human beings suck now…

    2. He looked undesirable so I pepper sprayed him and he attacked me. See – I was right, he is violent!

    1. “Don’t really care how you spun it, the city is not safe.“

      I know your perceptions matter more to you than facts and fully understand that facts will never change your incorrect perceptions, but as the article stated:
      “the city’s violent crime rate is at a near-historic low, and is lower than most mid-to-large-sized cities.”

    2. no city or community is totally safe, but if you wanna only pay attention to the bad stuff, well, then, the sky is certainly faaaaaaaaaling!

    3. No, it’s true. Just last week I was out cruising the town with Marc Benioff when I said ‘Dude, I’m not totally sure what Salesforce actually does’. Next thing I know he’s chasing me with a crowbar screaming that he’ll show me what exactly what they do. Scary stuff.

      1. If you pepper sprayed Marc benioff …
        Pepper spray is a physical assault. Let’s not omit such a crucial detail.

    4. Too busy watching Hannity and didn’t read the whole article, eh? Cause you missed this “…the city’s violent crime rate is at a near-historic low, and is lower than most mid-to-large-sized cities.”

      1. That’s because they have reclassified many violent crimes as misdemeanors and no longer even keep records of most break-ins, assaults, etc. I used to live in SF when it was livable, but now, I only drive through there on 19th Ave. to get to the airport with my windows up and doors locked.

  24. We left SF over 12 years ago and never looked back. At that time the homelessness was starting to pervade all neighborhoods migrating from the onramp to 80. Then the car break started happening, porch robberies, and police non-response. The problem is two entities, London Breed and her non-support of police and the Board of Supervisors (Stupidvisors) policies. Property values decreasing and migration out increasing. Hawaii is a much better place, less taxes, better governance, and reasonable and responsible for those living here.

    1. Cool story bro.

      You say you never looked back but yet here you are on a sf local news outlet, citing your perspective on a city that you live 3000 miles away from.

    2. Homelessness was ushere into all American major cities after Republican President Ronald Reagan cut funding for low income housing and closed down mental hosptitals because local communities and churches would ” take better care ” of the patients. America cheered him because ” he was balancing the budget” and giving tax breaks to his rich friends would stimulate his ” trickle down reaganomics”

      1. Frank B. You are correct. Most people do not remember the actions taken by President Ronald Reagan and how they had a long lasting terrible effect on the middle class as well as other segments of society, especially the mentally ill. I well remember when Reagan closed the mental hospitals and the mentally ill lived on the streets of San Francisco , eating out of trash cans, sleeping on cardboard behind downtown skyscrapers and defecating in the alleyways. Going to a downtown business you could not avoid seeing these pitiful people!

        1. People are eager to blame Ronald Reagan for letting mentally ill out of hospitals, but that was a worldwide trend at the time.

        2. It wasn’t just Reagan, the trend in psychiatry was to mainstream the mentally ill and Medicate patients. Civil rights activists and lawyers also objected to the mentally ill being confined against their will and the bar was raised to imminent danger to themselves or others. This happened all over the country.

      2. So what you are saying g is that what Reagan did in the 1980s could not have been “corrected” by 8 years of Clinton in the 90s or 8 years of Obama in the 2000’s?

        1. Backlogs are hard to clear unless there’s concerntrated effort to remediate.

          How many years were republicans in charge during those administrations ?

    3. have you asked the native Hawaiians how they feel about you moving there? I heard there’s very few jobs and housing is becoming more expensive so many native young adults have to leave to find employment and housing on the continent. interesting you left california for hawaii since there’s a web page saying homelessness is higher in hawaii per 100,000 people.

    4. “We left SF over 12 years ago and never looked back.” Except, by reading this publication, you are indeed looking back.

    5. The average house price in San Francisco is $1.4 million. It’s off a little bit recently because of the pandemic and massive layoffs in tech, not homeless people. It’s still a much, much lovelier place to live or visit than most, and much safer than large cities in red states. Check out the murder rate in OKC or Jacksonville sometime.

  25. As a first time reader I am taken as to the slant that fails to address the real fear of citizens in major cities throughout the U.S
    It seems you have focused on homicides which are declining but that is classic journalist slant which the focus on the ultimate crime of murder. S.F needs real enforcement of laws and incarcerate the offenders not make excuses and put them in the revolving door. I will not visit S.F which is sad because the 2 times I visited many years my wife and I agreed what an amazing place. Shameful that politicians seem focused on making slave reparations while the city smells of feces and overlun with indigents and drug dealing miscreants.

    1. This article is about police arresting someone for the crime of murder. It also puts it into factually-supported context. It’s fine journalism, and the only slant in evidence are the spurious claims of slant.

    2. The journalist cited violent crime, which is not just murder, as being at a near all time low. You are the one who misinterpreted that.

    3. It is sad that you claim to have last visited San Francisco years ago but then make claims about present day San Francisco. Too much faux news watching on your part me thinks.
      San Francisco, being an old city, much of it has a combined storm water and waste water sewage system. When it is hot the sewer drains can smell because of this combined system.
      Perhaps if other states, in particular red states, did not give bus tickets to California to their indigent population then California would have a smaller homeless population. Maybe the red states need to learn how to look after their own.

    4. Your take is simply incorrect. Most of us live perfectly normal lives, in lovely neighborhoods. Facts are facts.

    5. What a ridiculous assertion. Only Fox News viewers could say this with a straight face.
      Cities, all cities do have crime. But those who suggest SF is a shit filled place etc. are just complaining about liberalism, and their hate of those who are proud progressive Democrats. I get it, you hate us, whatever. I will not lose any sleep and do not fear walking around my city. I as a woman have never wandered the streets late at night, but otherwise I think those who say they are afraid to leave home are making their own lives miserable, not the city.

  26. Also it need to be said the parameters of what’s considered crime have changed so what would have been considered a crime in the 80’s-90’s isn’t anymore so they can say ‘look, it was worse before.’ No, they just prosecuted more before

    1. Then it would seem to confirm there is MORE crime now but they are just not considering something a crime if they don’t prosecute it anymore.

        1. I think the actual body count of the murdered people speaks for itself. You can’t manipulate that statistic to make it “slant”

    2. Homicides are still treated as homicides, then and now. That’s the data shown in the article. The “parameters” haven’t changed for that.

  27. Thank you Mission Local for this news. I am in continuous awe of the many people who drew all kinds of draconian policy and political conclusions on social media about the Bob Lee tragedy based on no solid information whatsoever about why he was murdered. Free advice: when sh1t like this comes down, keep your own counsel until at least one more shoe drops. We still don’t even know why the alleged killer did what he is alleged to have done. Since it is fashionable to quote Marcus Aurelius these days, I’ll run with the pack: “You always own the option of having no opinion.” Or, at least put off owning it until you own some facts.

  28. LOL at all the dumb conservatives who slammed SF when this happened and now have to make justifications here to say ‘SF is still horrible’ despite it having low violent crime for a city it’s size. Republicans today remain completely disconnected from reality and constantly determined to play the fear and blame game to demonize anyone who doesn’t believe what they do. All you people here saying ‘But it’s still a sign SF is horrible’ look like the chumps you are. Just letting you know.

    1. Why do you assume people are conservative simply because they are disgusted with how the city is being run into the ground by stupid policies? As one of the most expensive places in the country to live, one would think it would be a nicer, safer and cleaner place. However, cars are constantly broken into, there’s vandalism and the streets are filthy. I lived there 25+ years ago and loved it, but things were already changing. My friend and co-worker was murdered by gay bashers just walking home from a company gathering. He was 6’4″ and dressed in a suit, but they beat him to death for no good reason. I
      won’t even visit the city now because it has become such a mess. The only “dumb” people are those who pay a fortune to live in squalor and high (yes, it’s high…you have to be blind not to see it) crime and those who keep voting for ineffective government.

      1. crime happens everywhere, even in low population areas. SF’s only real problem is its lack of affordability.

      2. If you haven’t lived here in 25 years why are you on this site? It’s kind of amazing how people who lived here years ago follow local blogs so they can trash SF. I lived in NY a long time ago but I don’t trawl local blogs so I can bash it.

        1. Many just LOVE to hate San Francisco, and California in general really. I was glad my extremist Republican relatives refused to come here.

  29. I had the pleasure of visiting S.F. two summers ago. Beautiful climate. Very quiet due to needless covid lockdowns. Sadly, fecal matter was on city side walks and the things I wanted to see most were not in use. Trolleys.

    1. Needless Covid lockdown?

      Just, unimaginable an adult would type this when we know all the facts.

      Check out SF’s covid numbers Vs Miami’s and then get back to us.

      1. Other places didn’t do lockdowns and came through in about the same condition. There’s always more than one way to handle a situation.

      2. SF and CA went too far for too long, and we’re paying for that dearly. Sure, you can be sanctimonious about counting every lived saved, but there’s a limit to the trade-offs that you make, and we went too far; the price tag for that is steep, and we’ll be paying the bill for that for many years to come. Oh, wait. You won’t be – you’ll just cash in on the virtue signaling.

    1. It was a cute jab, but the reason why Whole Foods (and many other businesses) in Mid Market are giving up is probably worth more than pithy “lol yuppies, amiright” commentary.

    2. this line made me laugh out loud as well. Only in San Francisco would the closing of a Whole Foods necessitate a candlelight vigil and memorial wall-mural.

      1. When and where was the vigil held? Probably not true but why dump on people who love this city because they don’t share your grocery shopping preferences? When did people dying and our City’s ongoing economic struggles become a joke?

  30. They were in the car together and the guy stabbed him? What, Nima Momeni just carry a knife around with him? This may turn out to be premeditated.

    1. I wondered if it was a conincidence that this happened in such a sketchy neighbourhood. Maybe teh location was planned to encourage exactly the kind of assumptions people are still making. A reverse version of “driving while black” to point the finger eslewhere.

      1. It’s not a sketchy neighborhood. South of market and there’s a lot of fancy highrise apartments.

  31. The broader point is that lawlessness in San Francisco is so bad that people assume it’s the cause of things it might not be (eg this murder). On my block in the mission in the last several months, we’ve had two crimes at gunpoint: a carjacking and the robbery of a muralist of all his paints. The muralist was made to get on his knees. Lots of stores are closing, citing crime and employee safety. Whole Foods is not an isolated incident. Misdemeanor theft, pubic drug use, and the sale of obviously stolen goods are rampant. The area near the 24th Street and Mission is a cesspool. No one would willingly bring a child near there. Safe and enjoyable streets are the foundation of any city. We need them regardless of who killed Bob Lee. SF is on the fast track to becoming mid 1970’s New York, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, dangerous, and a horrible place to live. If remote work had been possible then, NYC would have been totally left for dead.

    1. “No one would willingly bring a child near there.”

      People routinely bring their children there. What are you talking about?

    2. Ah, so you’re just openly going to move your goalpost, I see? Typical of your type of commenter.

      The fact that you seem to want to wear blinders in discussing the issues of SF while ignoring the broader similarities to the rest of the country shows you’d rather be disingenuous than serious about what’s happening here.

    3. SF is lawless to the extent that it is because the police refuse to do their job and blame their lack of response on the DA, or the Judges, or more likely, the Paperwork. As an actual resident of SF I can assure you the most dangerous thing about SF is all the people driving around at high speed (most who do not live in SF) and blowing stop signs and stop lights, not some person napping on the sidewalk. Poop and someone napping I can avoid easily, high speed out of control drivers are a bit more problematic. SF is on the brink, largely because of an emphasis on business, and not on people or our children (think huge tax breaks for twitter and a free stadium for the warriors and no pay for teachers and no heat for the kids).

      Thanks Joe for an informative and well rounded article with very interesting contextual background and commentary on reporting of violent crime.

  32. Also, it speaks volumes that a guy felt that it was safe enough to commit a murder in a well-off area of SF, thinking that he’d likely get away because of the endless amount of crimes that he’d be able to hide his actions in.

  33. It is still an effect of the overall stress in S.F. It shouldn’t count as ‘violent’ only when the culprit is not white.

  34. So is this article even about the murder of Bob Lee? Seems like its more like a gotcha piece to call out people who assumed his murder was done by a random criminal. Nice work using the murder of a great guy to call out the right and attempt to pretend like everything’s great in SF. This should be labeled an editorial.

    1. Because the article IS about jumping to premature conclusions.

      Don’t argue back, take the L gracefully, and walk away thinking about the lessons learned. I’m certainly doing the same.

  35. Nice reporting! Thank you for the context and historic data.

    I wish all reporting included such relevant information. But then… that takes actual work and an understanding of the subject matter. I especially appreciate the line about previous pepper-spraying of people experiencing homelessness.

    FWIW: Labeling someone as a “homeless person” implies that is who they are as opposed to a condition they are living through at the time. People can experience homelessness, be undocumented or be enslaved. There is no such thing as homeless person, illegal alien or slave. We are all human and should be addressed as such.

  36. Discussing this with friends when this happened. Strong feeling this was no random act of murder. Guys come back to San Francisco after relocating from this violent city. Then has the worse luck of returning for a visit and get murdered. Just ashame the whole situation. However, SF policing in city is just subpar. Calling 911 and taking hours for response. Robbery in progress calls no response. Street racing and car shows no response, criminal being caught in act of committing a crime being release. I understand your appeal more funding but your not doing basic policing currently. It ashame when you cant get police after 911 call.

    1. SFPD has essentially admitted to a blue strike. When asked they simply say they cannot do their jobs without people commenting or being negative. So they simply stopped working, arent showing up to reported crimes, aren’t taking anything seriously and are still collecting a paycheck.

      And no one of note is making this statement publically. Everyone in the city sees it happening but our leaders are either too incompetent or afraid to say this.

      1. Where did you get the information that led you to this opinion and comment of a large group of professionals?

        1. ‘professionals’ lol they are cops who got their feelers hurt. so they decided to quit working and collect their paycheck for doing nothing.

  37. That’s such a shame. Prosecute the scumbag who murdered Bob Lee, send him to jail and throw away the key. With a little luck maybe the same will happen to him

  38. Thank you for the update & for reminding us of the other 11 people murdered on our streets this year/

    It would be interesting to know how much effort has been devoted to solve the other 11 2023 SF murders? Is this data that is available to the public?

  39. “the abrupt closure of the mid-market Whole Foods, leaving San Franciscans just eight other Whole Foods within city limits”

    Hahahahaha perfect.

  40. Possibly of interest, the suspect — who lists his alma mater as Cal — is not a Cal grad at all. This is easily verifiable by any Cal grad with access to the alumni database ( For example, as quickly as I could verify that the suspect is not a Cal grad, I was able to also see that the story’s author did graduate from Cal. Then again, maybe the claim on his LinkedIn page was that once, he set foot on campus (or nearby), and learned something (for example, that Top Dog is a good place for a late-night snack), so he felt entitled to gussy up his resume in a misleading manner.

    1. Joe Eskenazi was a columnist for the Daily Californian, a position not available to non-students. You might want to get better at this.

    2. That is not a publicly searchable database of all Cal alumni.

      That is a web site where anyone may choose to create a Cal alumni profile. You are so, so, so bad at this.

      1. I can also look at that database to see which year Joe graduated, and what his major was. It has a list of everyone, regardless of whether they create a profile. It says whether a person graduated, or whether they enrolled and failed to matriculate. Never claimed it was publicly searchable. It’s for Cal grads, to connect with other Cal grads. I left only the one comment, under my actual name (Matt). I’m pretty sure that to create the alumni profile, you need to be verified as an alum. Could be wrong, though, as I have not tried making a fake one.

        I think you might have me confused with another person posting, Cynthia. If something I wrote above offended you or came off as uncivil, I apologize. That was certainly not my intent.

        Note: I worked for the Daily Cal as well. Go Bears!

        1. Hey Cynthia — I think I see what happened here. I said “the suspect” lists his alma mater as Cal. I didn’t make a comment about Joe. But, re-reading your comment, it reads as if you thought I was taking Joe to task for some reason. In that light, your reply makes more sense (it was utterly confusing to me when I first saw it). I’m still not sure what you mean by getting “better at this” or that I’m “so, so, so bad at this.” If you thought I was just trolling or talking s**t, then I guess that might make sense. And then there was something I though you posted, but you did not(!). It looked like you were accusing me of posting multiple times with different handles, but that was just a standard Mission Local guidline that followed your post (same font, however). So, I’m totally wrong about you accusing me of that — you did no such thing.

  41. Thank you Joe Eskenazi and Mission Local for your independent, professional,investigative reporting and journalism. While every single other local media outlet (SFChron, the Examiner, the SF Standard, CHRON4, ABC7, KTVU, KPIX) fanned fearful flames and sought to engage by enraging, Mission Local was steady and clear eyed. The other media monkeys aped local and national media garbage talking points to do with “doom spirals” and Gotham. Mission Local did not. So thanks for consistently setting the bar so high and for providing a public service to San Franciscans.

    1. I forgot to mention the NYTimes was right in there with the fear and loathing doom spiral crap too.

      1. I found the Kate Conger and Shawn Hubler NY Times piece covering the narrative to be fair. Joe’s piece was better, but he also has more local insight and editorial leeway than they do.

  42. You seem to take pleasure in the circumstances of this man’s tragic death, because it was not, as many worried, just another example of how dangerous and out of control SF has been for three years. But you live in Berkeley so how would you know.

    1. Maria — 

      Everything you wrote in that comment is wrong.

      Thanks for reading.


  43. Glad to find out the victim wasn’t killed by a drugged homeless person. Getting killed by a drugged tech executive makes it all better. Guess he’s less dead now or what is the point you are making?

  44. Yeah, I also found that the killing was a bit odd. The East Cut is dead after 5-6PM. Also, majority of the residence are luxury apartments/ condos. You don’t see many homeless or trash in that area at all… so makes sense when they say it’s not a robbery etc… also, it doesn’t make sense that someone that rich would be walking home at 2:30AM… pretty odd death… the story they are putting together is making sense though

  45. Why do you think that this would “color” this incident? you make it sound like the victim deserved this treatment when clearly he was defending himself, and thus no police charge against the victim for pepper-spraying the attacker.

  46. You really just could have caught this off after the first half – but thanks for the reminder that white-guilt ridden liberals think that the city is just fine and that everyone voting for change are just bellyaching

  47. The reason people are fearful in SF is that they don’t find their situations secure, given the risks; they all fear ending up in a tent on a sidewalk from one false move.

    While crime in SF is flatish, the rise in visible squalor over the past 15 years is very real. People have taught themselves to ignore the squalorific, substance addled, psych challenged individual as if they were zombies.

    So the circle in SF is now complete when a competitive, successful tech billionaire gets stabbed by an acquaintance, cutthroat capitalism indeed, and then ignored by hurried motorists as he staggers bloodied, bleeding out on the street.

    I’m liking that Breed is falling flat on her face on KTVU when she is trying to backpedal the doom cycle messaging that worked so well to oust SFUSD commissioners, the DA and which threw tens of millions to the lazy cops.

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap. San Franciscans deserve this shitshow until we organize politically to bring about something less cynical and psychopathic.

    1. Marc,

      Join me in calling for 6 members of the Board of Supervisors put a Charter Amendment forward which allows the SF Voters to choose their own Police Chief.

      Then, if the cops Refuse to work it’s on us.

      And, we can remedy it at the next vote.

      Go Niners !!


  48. It’s important that journalist get the story right so people areas and cities are not vilified as being violent or out of control. Journalism has not been very accurate the past seven years starting with the Russia collusion hoax, perpetrated by them for five years. They even got Pulitzer Prize awards for distorted and utterly unfounded reports. I think that affected the country a lot more than a tech executive being stabbed by a competitor.

  49. Crime statistics are always lower when police respond to fewer calls and prosecutors refuse to prosecute. It’s a dishonest numbers game with real consequences for the public at large.

  50. Thanks for the reporting, however, I kindly recommend keeping the editorial content to the opinion pages.

  51. “It is not hard to understand why ‘reforms’ such as ending cash bail, defunding the police, refusing to prosecute entire categories of crimes, letting thousands of convicted felons out of prison early, significantly cutting the prison population, and other ‘progressive’ ideas have led to massive spikes in crime—particularly violent crime, including murder….”
    – Heritage Foundation report titled “The Blue City Murder Problem”

    27 of the top 30 cities with the highest murder rates as of June 2022 were run by Democratic mayors. Maybe it’s time to give the Republicans a go at running the City.

    1. 9 of the top 10 states with the highest murder rates are run by Republican Governors. Maybe it’s time to give the Dems a go at running those States.

  52. Good to hear the police have made an arrest. It was just a matter of time. Since the police didn’t say that Mr. Lee was robbed and the fact that he was stabbed more than once, I thought the killer very likely was someone who knew Mr. Lee. There likely was video of someone following Mr. Lee so was a solvable case.

  53. In Florida and across the nation, hack politicians foment anger at drag queens and gays to gain political power, mostly because they have nothing to offer to make life better for everyone, so they aim low, stoking a culture war to justify their existence.

    In San Francisco, disgustingly, hack politicians, wealthy tech executives and others blame the homeless for everything wrong with the city. Mayor Breed has presided over the highest budgets that I can remember and yet little is done to improve the situation on the streets, and, given that she blocked multiple efforts to assist the homeless and drug addicted, maybe she needs these issues to persist to justify her holding political office.

    Mayor Breed, resign now. And take Dorsey with you.

  54. Really appreciate the context and greater investigative detail in this report! I get that the most straightforward way to report a story is to say “X happened at Y location. Full stop”. But, if that’s all that people read, and they happen to read 5 of those articles in a month, their brain will fill in the gaps “Oh there must be an increasing trend”. So, while this article does have an agenda outside of reporting the most basic facts, it was really helpful to read “X happened at Y location and here’s more long-term information on X happening at Y locations”. It’s a lot of responsibility to provide context in an article, but I appreciate you supplementing this with actual stats instead of just furthering fear-inducing preconceived notions. I hope Lee’s family will be able to receive some amount of closure and justice with this arrest. It’s tragic in and of itself and doesn’t need to be sensationalized and co-opted by news sites gunning for clicks. Again, thanks for a well written update!

    1. Did he tell you when good things start happening again? It is 6AM? 4AM? 3AM? Would be helpful to have another reference point, without which that statement is kinda meaningless.

  55. Thank you Joe for this thoughtful detail of events. I’ll tell you what – the idea that rampant violent crime was taking over our city finally put some fire under the belly of city officials because we now see SFPD, Bart police and DPW community liaisons at the 24th street Bart station daily and I’m happy about that. It was a daily shit show no one in City Hall seemed to care about until now.

    I find it sad but not surprising that it had to take Bob Lee’s homicide and national attention for our city to wake the fuck up but I’m here for it.

  56. This is a dangerous world. Money and power lead people to the edge. Brief moments of anger change the order of things. This is just another sad example of The Eve Effect.

  57. Mad respect for the understaffed SFPD. But this doesn’t mean SF can now continue as usual. This reaction showed middle class people are on the edge and are OVER programs enabling mentally ill and drug addicts to live on our streets as if it is an option. And we’re over drug dealers and store/car thieves being encouraged with a lack of punishment/risk. SF shouldn’t be a welcoming environment/magnet for those people and activities. That said, I’m now a bigger fan of SFPD and for increasing their funding to where it needs to be for a city our size.

    1. How long should a person spend in jail if they break into your car and steal your backpack Eric? And should that be a felony, so when they get out they cannot get a decent job?

  58. I love it. Made my day. What’s of note are the “tech luminaries” that pride themselves on advanced AI driven decision making and then instead of using data-driven insights to explore possible scenarios for the unfortunate death of Mr. Lee, they simply make up a story that best fits their view. Like moths flying to light. It’s why I know none of us, not even Musk, is really all that smart.

  59. Regardless of the circumstances of this particular crime, this story veers way too close to being dismissive of the obvious deterioration of San Francisco. I was a resident for many years, moved away in 2010 and didn’t return to visit until this year. I was shocked and saddened by what I saw. The filth. The tolerance of street crime that has eroded quality of life. Disregard of residents, small business owners and the human life that inhabit the streets. Total mismanagement. Utter negligence. Local leaders should be ashamed. This city is a total mess and it’s embarrassing that this writer is using the presumably incorrect assumptions about Lee’s tragic death as an opportunity to weave an alternative narrative.

  60. I just want to acknowledge the writing:
    “the abrupt closure of the mid-market Whole Foods, leaving San Franciscans just eight other Whole Foods within city limits”

  61. come on Joe. people who live in sf know better. the park 2 blocks from my house has had at least 5 bodies discovered in it in the last 5 years. a man is living there right now defecating in front of children and throwing his garbage all around him. we see the videos of people blatantly stealing large bags of merchandise in the stores and we see the stores closing. we see human feces and needles on the sidewalks and people shooting up. do you even live in sf? don’t try to shove your BS on us

  62. Look, I don’t have anything against tech executives. I don’t have an anti-tech bone in my body. Some of my best friends are tech execs. But these people are all the same. You know this had to be a crypto deal gone wrong.

  63. Not surprising, but the state of the city also shouldn’t be surprising or sugar coated. It needs change and it needs it now.

  64. Thanks for the update. Do you think Joel Engardio or any of the tech luminaries will retract their statements and apologize to Chesa Boudin for all their Fox-news BS narratives? Also let’s watch the Carmignani incident closely before the tired story that all homeless and poor are violent, drug-addled criminals. Carmignani was appointed SF Fire Commissioner by Ed Lee, served barely 5 months when he was forced to resign after being arrested for felony domestic violence. So clearly, he is a violent individual.

    1. Exactly…and let’s not forget about the dead-beat Elon Musk…who hasn’t paid rent or mom and pop operators at twitter for months. Maybe the narrative should be that Tech Execs make SF dangerous.

      1. Yes, this is what happened to our beautiful city. These tech companies moved in made everything sky rocket, and now moved out, leaving all these buildings empty, while all these homeless people can’t afford to live here, so they steal, and commit crimes to survive.
        All these tech companies need to pay for these building to be transformed into low income housing, to help get people off the streets.
        As far as that Whole foods, I’m glad they closed. Nobody in that neighborhood can afford to shop there. I live in one of the buildings on 8th and Mission, although it might be convenient to go there if I ran out of something, but I would never shop there.

        1. I think the entire time that 8th x market whole foods opened. There was a bart escalator construction in front of it. They finally unveiled it the same week whole foods closed.

      2. Shorenstein is hardly a mom and pop operator. They own half of downtown. That said … Musk stiffing them is just billionaire on billionaire dispute.

    2. The victim arrested for domestic violence? Thank you for pointing that out. Now do his attacker’s arrest record.

    3. I aways thought it was NOT a robbery gone bad. I figured that Mr. Lee was killed by someone he knew being in an area that was a business district . It makes more sense now that this man knew him and had a disagreement and killed him. If indeed this man Momeni did this, he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  65. Well, I am the mother of the 15-year-old boy executed by a Now San Francisco police officer (JOSHAWA CABILLO) I feel like if the police department was not held accountable for their actions, why should SF ‘s community care about crime! against first responders?

    1. It is tragic that your son died, and I’m sorry to remember that story.

      We should not let our souls ge callous and ignore all other tragedies. We cannot have a society if we stop seeking justice. We have to pursue the people that commit crime against our people. Murders, beatings, stabbings. We have to care, this our city. We are not animals.

      1. Get your facts straight before you talk about so called “injustice”.

        The 15 yr old was illegally carrying a gun! Here’s the exact excerpt from an article on it:
        “Cabillo shot Gaines on June 5, 2012, after stopping him and another teenager at a gas station for what he believed was suspicious behavior. Gaines ran, and Cabillo said he saw a gun in the teen’s waistband. He gave chase and, striking Gaines in the back of the head with his service weapon, knocked him to the ground. As Gaines tumbled to the ground, a .45 revolver fell from his waistband. In an account reportedly corroborated by a witness at the gas station, Cabillo told investigators he shot Gaines in the neck when the youth appeared to reach for the .45””

        So…… what’s a 15 yr old doing illegally carrying a 45 pistol?? Anyone????

        Oh…and here’s the article:

      1. 15 yr old illegally packing a Glock with an extended magazine……

        I hope your comment was sarcasm……

    2. Sorry for your loss but facts still matter and you’ve omitted the facts:

      1) The officer was not charged and for good reason. According to this article:

      “ … because Barcenas (the boy) was running away from law enforcement; because he was drawing a firearm with an extended magazine; and because there were numerous civilians present — we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Cabillo’s use of deadly force was not an objectively reasonable response.”

      2) Also according to the article “ Barcenas was armed with a Glock 30 handgun with an extended ammunition clip“

      So……… inquiring minds want to know this: what’s a 15 yr old doing illegally carrying a Glock 30 handgun with an extended magazine and running from the cops?????

      1. I don’t think you’re referring to the correct incident. The cop, Cabillo, previously shot a 15-year old boy who had a non-functioning handgun while a South San Francisco police officer, which is why she said a NOW-SF police officer.

        1. The same cop was involved in two shootings.

          1) The article I posted was for this same cop but who shot a 30 yr old fleeing suspect and was found not guilty so you’re right the article wasn’t about the 15 yr old but against a 30 yr old.

          2) Here’s the article where the SAME cop shot the 15 yr old.

          According to the article:

          “According to federal court documents, Cabillo has been the subject of four civil rights lawsuits in the past six years. Two were related to the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Derrick Gaines in South San Francisco. Two more suits arose from a pair of incidents in 2015 when, as a member of the SFPD, Cabillo and other officers were accused of abusing suspects during arrests.

          Cabillo shot Gaines on June 5, 2012, after stopping him and another teenager at a gas station for what he believed was suspicious behavior. Gaines ran, and Cabillo said he saw a gun in the teen’s waistband. He gave chase and, striking Gaines in the back of the head with his service weapon, knocked him to the ground. As Gaines tumbled to the ground, a .45 revolver fell from his waistband. In an account reportedly corroborated by a witness at the gas station, Cabillo told investigators he shot Gaines in the neck when the youth appeared to reach for the .45”

          So…. Thanks for the correction but again it doesn’t look like the officer did anything wrong. And again what’s a 15 yr old doing. With a gun????

        2. It wasn’t the cops fault. The cop told the kid to stop but he ran instead. The kid dropped his .45 cal weapon when he was knocked to the ground by the cop. The kid then reached for the gun and the cop shot him. The cop had no way of knowing the firing pin on the kids gun was non-functioning.

          The cop did nothing wrong.

          Case closed.