(SAN FRANCISCO) — The man suspected of shooting and killing a woman at a popular San Francisco pier allegedly told police he wasn’t targeting her but instead was shooting at sea lions, sources close to the investigation told ABC News station KGO.
“There does not appear to be any connection between the victim and the suspect,” San Francisco Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.
Kate Steinle, 32, was gunned down Wednesday as she walked with her father in broad daylight along the Embarcadero, the family-friendly tourist spot that was filled with people.
Police would not confirm to ABC News that the suspect told them he was targeting sea lions.
Steinle’s family was devastated at news of her death.
“I love my sister so much,” said Steinle’s brother, Brad, “and I’ll never get to tell my sister that I love her again.”
Witnesses on the packed pier snapped photos of the suspect at the scene, identifying the man for police and leading to the arrest of Francisco Sanchez, 45, just an hour later. He was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting.
The arrest raised questions about why Sanchez — a convicted felon and undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times, according to U.S. immigration officials — was on the streets in the first place.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had said in a statement that Sanchez was turned over to the San Francisco Police Department this past March on an outstanding drug warrant and that the department requested that police notify ICE prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody.
Steinle’s family told reporters that while it would have been better if Sanchez had been deported, the family is not dwelling on it because it wouldn’t bring back Steinle.
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