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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Bevan Hurley

Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey react after Cash App founder’s murder in San Francisco

Associated Press

Elon Musk claimed many of his San Francisco friends have been “severely assaulted” after Cash App founder Bob Lee was stabbed to death in the city on Tuesday.

The Twitter CEO offered his condolences to the 43-year-old’s grieving friends and called on San Francisco district attorney Brooke Jenkins to take tougher action against violent criminals.

“Many people I know have been severely assaulted,’ Mr Musk tweeted. “Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately. Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders Brooke Jenkins?”

Mr Lee was found with fatal knife wounds outside a luxury apartment complex at 300 Main St, between Soma and the Financial District, at 2.35am on Tuesday.

The San Francisco Police Department said in a statement that first responders treated the father of two at the scene before rushing him to hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The city homicide department is investigating, and no details about a suspect have been released.

San Francisco is often portrayed as a lawless city by conservative politicians and pundits, where drug use and homelessness fuels violent crime and robberies.

Bob Lee, known to his friends as ‘Crazy Bob’, was knifed to death in central San Francisco early on Tuesday morning (Twitter / Bob Lee)

That narrative led in part to former District Attorney Chesa Boudin being ousted in a recall election in June last year, after he sought to eliminate cash bail and reduce the prison population.

Ms Jenkins took over as District Attorney on a platform of balancing criminal justice reform while making stiffer penalties for violent offenders, and won re-election last November,

She did not immediately respond to a request by The Independent for comment about Mr Lee’s murder.

Figures from the San Francisco Police Department’s crime reports show the situation is much more complicated than often portrayed.

In 2022, homicide rates remained flat at 55, exactly the same number as the previous year. Homicides hit a 56-year low in the city in 2019, when 41 people were killed in the city.

Aggravated assault increased in 2022, but was still much lower than in 2016, 2017 and 2018. There have been eight murders in the city in the first two months of 2023, latest figures show.

Figures from the San Francisco Police Department show homicide rates remained the same over 2021 and 2022 , while other violent crimes increase (SFPD CompStats)

Mr Musk, who according to Forbes is the world’s second wealthiest person, headquartered his companies Tesla and SpaceX in California for years, but has grown increasingly hostile towards the state’s political leaders in recent years.

He shifted the Tesla headquarters to Texas in 2021 and also took up residence in the Lone Star State.

Elon Musk has called for San Francisco District Attorney to do more to target repeat violent offenders (Associated Press)

In January, Mr Musk urged a federal judge to shift a Tesla shareholder lawsuit against him away from San Francisco as he claimed he wouldn’t be able to receive a fair trial.

Mr Lee founded the Cash App and was chief technology officer at the Jack Dorsey-led payment giant Square, which was renamed Block.

He was chief product officer at crypto payment firm MobileCoin at the time of his death.

“It’s real,” Mr Dorsey wrote on his social network Nostr. “Getting calls. Heartbreaking. Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App. STL guy.”

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