Nima Momeni, the man accused of killing Cash App founder Bob Lee, appears to have gotten into an argument with Lee before his death, according to documents released by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.
A message from Momeni’s sister to Lee from sometime that evening showed the sister checking in on Lee after the disagreement. The text message, per the documents from the district attorney’s office, stated: “Just wanted to make sure your doing ok Cause I know nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class.”
The motion-to-detain documents also cite a witness interviewed by police and security camera footage, offering a detailed timeline of where Lee and Momeni were leading up to Lee’s fatal stabbing in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of San Francisco early in the morning of April 4.
A witness, described as a close friend of Lee’s, said he went over to an apartment after being invited by Lee on April 3, where Lee was drinking with a woman later identified as Momeni’s sister, the document states.
The witness told police the woman was married but her “relationship was possibly in jeopardy,” and the witness was unsure if the woman and Lee had an intimate relationship, according to the document. Lee later told the witness that they were going to go to his hotel room, where he invited the woman but she had declined.
While at the hotel room, the witness said Lee was having a conversation with Momeni, which involved Momeni saying he was picking up his sister from the apartment Lee and the witness were previously at, according the document. Momeni asked Lee “whether his sister was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” the document states. Lee had told Momeni nothing inappropriate happened, according to the document.
After the conversation with Momeni, Lee and the witness went to Lee’s apartment until about 12:30 a.m. on April 4, when Lee left, the document says.
Surveillance footage shows Momeni arriving at his sister’s apartment building in a white BMW around 8:30 p.m. on April 3, and later shows Lee entering the building around 12:39 a.m. on April 4. A little after 2 a.m., security footage shows Lee and Momeni entering an elevator together and getting into Momeni’s BMW. Additional footage from the area shows the two driving around in the car together.
Video then shows the BMW drive to a “dark and secluded area” on Main Street, just out of view for the video to see the interaction between the two men, per the document.
Eventually the two subjects, who are unidentifiable by their faces but seem to be wearing the same clothing, appear back in frame. After about five minutes, the subject wearing a white colored top, consistent with what Momeni appeared to be wearing, “suddenly move(s) toward the other subject,” the document says. The two subjects then separate.
The subject in dark-colored clothing, who authorities believe to be Lee, walks northbound, while the subject in the light-colored clothing walks south and stops along a fence, where a knife was ultimately recovered, the document says. The BMW then “leaves at a high rate of speed,” the document states.
An autopsy later found Lee was “stabbed three separate times, once in the hip and twice in the chest,” according to the documents. One of the stab wounds “directly penetrated” Lee’s heart, causing his death.
A kitchen knife was found near the scene, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a press conference, adding the department had “proof beyond a reasonable doubt that (Momeni) committed murder.”
Momeni appeared in a San Francisco court earlier Friday for an arraignment that came one day after police announced his arrest. Momeni’s arraignment is set to continue on April 25. He will be held without bail in the meantime.
Jenkins said they are “still very much looking” at first degree murder, an indication that the DA’s office believes the alleged homicide may have been pre-meditated.
“This is a person who was in his vehicle with a kitchen knife,” Jenkins said. “That’s not something most of us carry around at all times with us.”
When Momeni entered the courtroom on Friday, members of his family sitting in the front row held up heart signs with their hands. Momeni, who was not cuffed, acknowledged them and smiled back.
In announcing his arrest Thursday, law enforcement described Momeni as a 38-year-old man from Emeryville, California and said Momeni and Lee knew one another, but didn’t provide further details about their connection. California Secretary of State Records indicate that Momeni has been the owner of an IT business.
Many in the tech world and beyond responded to news of Lee’s death with an outpouring of shock and grief.
Lee’s family issued a statement Thursday thanking the San Francisco Police Department “for bringing his killer to Justice” after Momeni’s arrest.
“Our next steps will be to work with the District Attorney’s office to ensure that this person is not allowed to hurt anyone else or walk free,” the statement said.
In the statement, the family described Lee’s upbringing, his career, and the impact of the technology he helped create.
“Every day around the world, people interact with technology that Bob helped create. Bob will live on through these interactions and his dreams of improving all of our lives,” the statement reads.
Jenkins acknowledged the unrest residents and businesses of San Francisco feel, and that many list public safety as a top concern. But she added the DA’s office believes Lee’s death was the result of a targeted killing.
“This is not indicative of the state of affairs here in San Francisco on our streets,” Jenkins said. “That doesn’t mean that we still don’t have a lot of work to do from a public safety standpoint, but I simply don’t think Mr. Lee’s murder factors into that equation.”