Suspect in killing of San Francisco woman had been deported five times
By Steve Almasy, Pamela Brown and Augie Martin, CNN
Updated 12:21 PM ET, Sat July 4, 2015
Suspect in San Francisco killing has been deported before
Suspect in San Francisco killing has been deported before 01:09
San Francisco Sheriff’s Department says there needs to be court order or warrant to give undocumented immigrants to ICE
Kate Steinle, 31, was killed in a random shooting Wednesday at a tourist spot in San Francisco
Her accused killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had seven prior felony convictions
San Francisco (CNN)Kate Steinle was walking on a busy pier in San Francisco with her father when there was a single popping sound in the air.
She fell to the ground, struck by a bullet, the victim of what police say appears to be a random killing.
The man accused of firing the deadly shot — 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez — is an undocumented immigrant, a repeat felon who has been deported five times to Mexico, according to immigration officials.
It would have been six, a federal law enforcement source told CNN, except authorities in San Francisco wanted him on a drug-related warrant.
So U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which had Lopez-Sanchez in its custody in March after his release from federal prison, turned him over to San Francisco deputies. ICE said they requested an immigration detainer, asking that the agency be notified before Lopez-Sanchez was released.
But San Francisco is a city that doesn’t honor such requests and the sheriff’s department released him. Freya Horne, chief legal counsel to the San Francisco County Sheriff, told CNN that he was let go because there was no legal cause to detain the suspect.
On Wednesday evening, he shot the 31-year-old Steinle at Pier 14 once in her upper body, according to police. He was found about a mile away an hour later and arrested. CNN could not determine on Friday if he has an attorney.
Family: She was loving, smart, beautiful
Steinle’s father told the San Francisco Chronicle there was one pop and his daughter fell to the ground.
Video shows several people trying to help the young woman.
“She just kept saying, ‘Dad, help me, help me,'” Liz Sullivan, the victim’s mother, told CNN affiliate KRON.
Steinle, a medical device salesperson, died at San Francisco General Hospital. Sullivan said her heart stopped twice on the way to the hospital and she died during surgery.
“She fought for her life,” Sullivan said. “They said how strong she was but they just couldn’t save her.”
Family members called her loving, smart and beautiful. Her cousin said she loved her mother and father “more than anything.”
Several of the dozen or more people on the pedestrian pier took photos of the suspect and showed them to police.
Suspect had seven felony convictions
ICE said it turned Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities on March 26 for an outstanding drug warrant. The agency requested an immigration detainer, but Horne said San Francisco officials believe that violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The sheriff’s office said, “When Mr. Lopez-Sanchez was booked into the jail, there was no active Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) warrant or judicial order of removal for him.”
The department would have returned Lopez-Sanchez if there had been a court order or warrant, it said.
Charges were dropped March 27 but Lopez-Sanchez was held until April 15 while the sheriff’s office determined there were no other warrants for his arrest and he had completed his federal prison sentence.
According to KRON, San Francisco’s policy on undocumented immigrants “states that a law enforcement official shall not detain an individual on the basis of a civil immigration detainer after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody.”
The federal law enforcement source told CNN the sheriff’s department “didn’t even need to hold him. They simply could have notified that they were going to release him and we would have gotten him.”
Police said Lopez-Sanchez last lived in Texas, where he was on probation. ICE said Lopez-Sanchez has seven felony convictions, four for drug offenses. His most recent deportation was in 2009.
He was released from federal prison in March after serving several years for felony re-entry after deportation.
Lopez-Sanchez is in San Francisco County Jail and faces a homicide charge. ICE has requested another immigration detainer.
-I do not blame all immigrants from Mexico for crime, but I do believe that a strong border fence with automatic fingerprinting is the answer and that the system of injustice in ‘Murca needs to change starting with the scum sucking lawyer. This asshole mentioned above should have disappeared down a fucking hole forever and been beaten to death by his fellow scumbags. These shit fucks have too many rights to appeal justly given sentences and gated community liberals continue to pour out sympathy for these animals leading to the death of more innocent people.
In a world of justice, the common man doesn’t have to mortgage his life to get representation. In a just world, DNA evidence is always allowed and if you have the weapon in your hand and fresh blood on your shoes, you do NOT get referred to as “My client.” In a just world, a worthless criminal disappears into the system and is worked to death and that is the end. Innocent people need better representation and the guilty need less rights.
The fact of the matter is that someone’s daughter is now dead because the way too liberal system had dropped the ball and this career criminal asshole was afforded ‘Rights.’ Shame on these fucking idiots for being responsible for a beloved family member’s death, the death of someone who was an employed producer and mattered in the village scheme. She was killed by another worthless unemployed criminal piece of shit who just wandered over our joke of a border. Praise to those who work their asses off to accomplish the dream, but there needs to be 100% more accountability at our southern border that we share with a third world failed state run by drug cartels.