Investigators say the killer of Kate Steinle – the 32-year-old woman who was walking on a San Francisco pier with her father when an illegal immigrant allegedly shot her in broad daylight – used a gun that belonged to a federal agent.
Fox News reported the gun had been stolen from a law enforcement officer in June.
“It may mean that somebody else is going to be on the hook, and soon,” said CNN’s legal analyst Danny Cevallos.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant with a felony record who had been deported to Mexico five times – and who told police he was in San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city and he knew he wouldn’t be deported – confessed to killing Steinle, various media reported.
He also said he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt on the ground, CNN reported.
“So I picked it up and … it started to fire on its own,” Sanchez said, adding that he heard three shots go off.
Sanchez pleaded not guilty during a Tuesday court hearing to murder and weapons charges. The court set his bail at $5 million.
Lopez-Sanchez, who has served more than 17 years in prison for entering the country illegally and has four felony drug convictions, was set free from jail in April despite a federal request to detain him, according to the New York Daily News.
The city’s sanctuary ordinance does not prohibit local law enforcement from informing ICE that they’ve arrested someone in the country illegally for a felony offense or who has prior felony convictions.
“Most of the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the San Francisco sheriff, because his department had custody of him and made the choice to let him go without notifying ICE,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which wants tougher immigration enforcement, reported the Associated Press.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, blamed sanctuary practices and the Obama administration, saying: “The tragic murder of Kate Steinle once again underscores the need to end these reckless policies.”
Hillary Clinton, the early Democrat front-runner in the presidential race, said San Francisco should have listened to federal agents.
“The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported,” Clinton said. “So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”
Donald Trump, who’s running for president in 2016, has been speaking about the problems of illegal immigration since he announced his campaign – to the fury of Mexico, the mainstream media and several businesses that have severed ties with him, as reported by WND. Still, Trump stands by his initial comments about Mexico sending criminals across the border into America.
Another illegal immigrant, Manuel Perez-Vasquez, 29, was just arrested for a car wreck that injured children in which he was allegedly found to have been under the influence of marijuana, as reported by WND. Authorities said Vasquez had been deported from America on six prior occasions.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported a total of 30,558 convicted criminal aliens, including those found guilty of homicide and rape, have been released by federal authorities.