It turns out that the man who was brutally gunned down in the Mission on Monday night recently ditched a witness protection program. Justin Lee, 40 - who was shot to death after being chased down on 26th and Mission Streets - just left the security of a safe house in another part of the state on the same day. Yikes.
Going back a bit, it seems that in 2005 Lee had "taken the stand last year and identified Sean 'Smiley' Robinson, 39, as the man who had shot him multiple times on 24th and Vermont streets on Potrero Hill." It is believed that the first unsuccessful attempt at Lee's life was an effort "to silence him for what he may have known about a homicide in which Robinson was suspected."
Even though Lee was repeatedly warned by both police and prosecutors "not to come back to the city, unless under armed escort to return to court," he did. And he died.
Although Robinson has been in custody since the 2005 shooting, it is still not clear whether or not Lee's murder had anything to do with the aforementioned case. But...probably. It sounds like the protection program did all they could to help the guy. Why he felt the need to return to San Francisco, much less back to the Mission District, piques our curiosity.