SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco is famous for putting out the welcome mat, but that fame is a bit tarnished now that a deported illegal immigrant from Mexico may have killed a woman as she strolled with her father.
Francisco Sanchez, 45, says he shot Kathryn Steinle, 31, last Wednesday while she and her father walked along Pier 14, a popular spot for San Franciscans and tourists.
Sanchez says he shot her in the back by accident as he wandered the pier in a stupor after taking sleeping pills he found in a dumpster.
He says he found the gun in a t-shirt and that it went off three times when he picked it up.
He says he kicked the gun into the water, fired up a cigarette, and walked way not knowing he shot Steinle until cops busted him. That’s when he reportedly told police he was shooting at sea lions.
Sanchez is on probation in Texas. He said he was in San Francisco to look for work in restaurants, roofing, landscaping, or construction.
Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials. That was important because the US deported him five times.
Immigration picked him up in March when he got out of prison and turned him over to San Fran cops on a 10-year-old drug charge.
When prosecutors decided to drop the charge, they said they had no legal right to hold him. The city’s sanctuary ordinance kept them from transferring him to immigration because they didn’t have a warrant or judicial order.
So, on April 15, they cut him loose.
Two months later Kathryn Steinle was dead.
Sanchez says he’s sorry and hopes that he gets the maximum punishment.
A lot of people hope deportation is not in his future, because the chances are good that he’ll be back, again.