SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, August 25, a San Francisco court judge will hear evidence brought forth in the case regarding Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, the man allegedly responsible in the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle, 32, on San Francisco’s Pier 14.
As part of the preliminary hearing, the judge will decide whether the evidence presented will be enough for the case against Sanchez to move forward with a murder charge.
The Mexican national pleaded not guilty to the charge of killing Steinle. He maintains that he discovered the gun wrapped up in a t-shirt on the pier. When he picked it up, it accidentally went off.
Authorities believe Sanchez may have obtained the gun by stealing it from the vehicle belonging to a federal agent. He then voluntarily discharged the weapon into the busy pier, killing the victim.
The killing sparked a widespread debate over the nature of “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco that shield undocumented immigrants from being persecuted. Most major cities in the United States are designated as “sanctuary cities” including San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Detroit, and Chicago.
Prior to the killing, Sanchez had been deported back to Mexico five times, but was able to return after each deportation by residing in San Francisco.
Following the incident, the country’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reprimanded San Francisco for not adhering to its warnings to deport Sanchez back to Mexico again.
Back in late July, the U.S. Senate voted 241-179 in favor of a bill crafted by San Diego Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R) that blocked a particular type of federal funding to sanctuary cities who have neglected to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration policies.