SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities revealed that they have extensive video footage of San Francisco tech executive Bob Lee and his attacker that appeared to show the moments before and immediately after Lee’s killing, according to court documents made public Friday.
Lee, founder of the payments platform Cash App, was found on a city sidewalk in the early morning of April 4 with multiple stab wounds. On Thursday, IT business owner Nima Momeni was arrested at his home in Emeryville, Calif. and charged with Lee’s murder. His arraignment Friday was postponed until April 25, and he’s being held without bail.
In the new court documents, released through public records request by the District Attorney’s office, prosecutors allege Momeni and Lee were in a hotel room in San Francisco on April 3, after Lee had been drinking with friends including Momeni’s sister. Momeni asked Lee “whether his sister was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” the documents allege. Lee told Momeni that “nothing inappropriate had happened.”
Cash App founder Bob Lee killed in San Francisco
Later that night, police said surveillance footage showed Momeni entering Millennium Tower, a high-end condo building where his sister lives. According to the documents, Momeni entered the building alone around 8:30, and Lee arrived four hours later around 12:30 a.m. Both men left together around 2 a.m. and allegedly got into Momeni’s white BMW.
“Video shows the BMW drive to a dark and secluded area,” according to the documents. The two men, identified by their outfits, then get out of the car.
“After standing on the sidewalk for approximately five minutes,” the figure that seems to be Momeni “appears to suddenly move toward” the figure that seems to be Lee, the documents allege. Minutes later, Lee is captured on another camera “walking away and injured.”
“Shortly after that, the white BMW leaves at a high speed,” the documents say. Police later found a silver kitchen knife with a black handle and a 4-inch blade “with what appeared to be blood on it” in a parking lot near where Lee was found.
Cash App founder Bob Lee knew his killer, police say
According to the court documents, a witness described Momeni’s sister as married, but alleged that “the relationship had possibly been in jeopardy.” The nature of the relationship between Momeni’s sister and Lee is unclear, though a friend of Lee’s alleged to police that they’d known each for at least three or four years.
Phone records seen by police show that Momeni’s sister had texted Lee, “Just wanted to make sure your doing ok Cause know nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class Love you Selfish pricks.”
When asked about a potential relationship between Lee and a Momeni family member during a news conference held on Thursday, San Francisco Police chief William Scott demurred, asking for patience because there was “still more work to be done.”
“What I don’t want to do is put out information that’s gonna come back and haunt us, or the prosecution of this case,” Scott said at the time. “I understand how hard that is and know everybody wants answers.”
Momeni’s sister and her husband appeared together in court for the scheduled arraignment on Friday, according to media reports.
Neighbors at Momeni’s converted industrial building where he lived in Emeryville — an East Bay city sandwiched by Oakland and Berkley — on Thursday described him as an affable, gregarious neighbor who was generous with invitations to parties, along with rides on his sailboat.
Next-door neighbor and crisis PR manager Sam Singer said Momeni sometimes played music while he worked, kept a pool table in his loft, and handed out business cards advertising his IT consultancy.
The killing of an entrepreneur well known in the Silicon Valley world shook San Francisco residents last week. On Thursday, police said that the alleged murderer did know the victim. Some people — including Twitter owner Elon Musk — blamed crime in the city.
“This has nothing to do with San Francisco,” Scott said Thursday. “This has to do with human nature.”