According to multiple news sources, the gun used to kill a young woman who was out for a walk along San Francisco’s waterfront belonged to a federal agent. Among the media outlets reporting the bizarre twist in the story is the San Francisco Chronicle, which says the weapon was stolen from the unnamed federal agent in a car burglary in June:
The .40-caliber pistol was stolen from the agent not long before Kathryn Steinle was shot to death July 1 at Pier 14 on the Embarcadero, said one source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the case publicly.
The Chronicle also cites other sources inside the investigation who say the murder weapon was not the agent’s officially issued firearm.
The apparently random killing of Steinle as she walked along Pier 14 with her father last week has set off a firestorm of debate over San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy. The suspect accused of killing the woman is an illegal immigrant with a lengthy arrest record who has reportedly been caught and deported five times to his native Mexico.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of murder and other crimes. It has not been disclosed whether he is suspected of stealing the federal agent’s gun that was used in the killing. As Western Journalism has reported, Lopez-Sanchez told a TV reporter in a jailhouse interview that he found the weapon on a bench, wrapped in a T-shirt, and that it accidentally discharged.
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The tragic case of the San Francisco killing has reignited the national debate over illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, and the Obama administration’s border enforcement and deportation policies.
The Washington Times notes that even liberal Democrats have now condemned the actions of San Francisco political leaders and law enforcement officials, saying their mistakes led to the needless death of Steinle:
…multiple Democratic officials — from Sen. Dianne Feinstein to presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton — criticized San Francisco for its sanctuary policies of refusing routine cooperation with federal immigration officials.
It seems all but certain that the shooting suspect, Lopez-Sanchez, will not again be freed from custody and allowed back onto the streets of San Francisco. The Washington Times coverage of the case notes: “His bail was set at $5 million, which means he will stay in jail until the murder trial, where he faces a possible sentence of life imprisonment.”
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