Watch CBS News

Mourners Pay Respects To San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

A public celebration of Mayor Ed Lee's life will be held Sunday, 3 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall.
Watch live at and the KPIX Facebook page.

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Ushered in by an honor guard of police officers and sheriff's deputies, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee entered City Hall for the last time early Friday.

Lee died early Tuesday after collapsing at a Safeway, leaving the city reeling from shock and dealing with the logistics of selecting a new leader. The medical examiner has not released a cause of death.

Friday morning, just as the sun was coming up, two fire trucks raised a giant American flag in his honor.

People were lined up even before the doors opened, waiting to get the chance to lay their respects to their mayor. Some came because they respected his politics.

"He had a lot of plans on trying to get more housing for the homeless," said Patrina Hall of the Shelter Monitoring Committee.

Matthew Saccomanao, a San Francisco State University student, came for a different reason. "I really feel like he was working on affordable housing, which was super important," he said.

Saccomanno said he respected the mayor for trying to make life affordable in an increasingly unaffordable city, and for tackling climate change, an issue important to young people.

Others came to say goodbye to someone they admired. Amanda Moore of the Department of Public Works says Lee was, "warm, happy, humble. Always at the Warriors parades. I was there with him."

Francisco Lira of Alameda offered, "He was a very decent man. I mean, he really wanted to help his city and he did make a big difference throughout his years."

Inside the City Hall rotunda where the mayor's body was lying in state Friday, the mood was very somber. Members of Mayor Lee's staff walked in together, hugging one another, and trying to hold back tears as they said goodbye to their former boss and mentor.

Taking part in a Chinese tradition, acting Mayor London breed bowed three times to the mayor's casket. And with the tip of his hat, former mayor Willie Brown visited City Hall as well.

WATCH: Former Mayor Willie Brown Pays Final Respects To Ed Lee

Earlier Friday, a police motorcade escorted the body to City Hall, where a giant American flag has been hoisted up by the ladders of two firetrucks.

Ed Lee City Hall
The casket of Mayor Ed Lee arriving at San Francisco City Hall on December 15, 2017. (CBS)

For all that Lee was able to accomplish in his almost seven years as mayor, it's what he won't be able to do in the future that makes people even more sad.

"That he was going to go on in life and travel, spend time with his family, and unfortunately, that is not going to happen," said Lira.

Public viewing of Mayor Lee's casket was scheduled until 7 p.m. Friday night. A public memorial will be held at San Francisco City Hall on Sunday at 3 p.m.


TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.