Gun belonged to fed: San Francisco Pier Shooting

Published: July 8, 2015

Gun belonged to fed: San Francisco Pier Shooting, The man accused of fatally shooting a woman on a San Francisco pier pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Tuesday afternoon, hours before authorities confirmed a shocking development in the case: the gun used in the killing belonged to a federal agent.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a felon and five-time deportee, appeared for his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Flores at the San Francisco County Hall of Justice. The case will return to court on July 22.

Flores set the defendant’s bail at $5 million. Prosecutor Diana Garcia had asked for no bail, saying that people would be concerned about public safety if Lopez-Sanchez were released on bail. But Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney in the Public Defender’s Office, argued that “this very likely was an accidental shooting” because “there was no motive, (Lopez-Sanchez) did not know (Steinle), and there’s no evidence that this was a robbery.”

The defendant was expressionless during the short hearing, wearing an orange-and-black jumpsuit while surrounded by bailiffs, a Spanish-language interpreter and three attorneys from the Public Defender’s Office.

He is facing a charge of murder with firearm enhancements, according to court documents.

Lopez-Sanchez has admitted to shooting 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle last Wednesday, telling KGO-TV that he accidentally struck her as she strolled on Pier 14, along the Embarcadero.

A bullet pierced Steinle’s aorta and she collapsed to the ground in front of her father, who desperately tried to save her life. Steinle, a former Pleasanton resident, was living in San Francisco and worked as a sales representative for Medtronic, Inc., a medical technology company.

From 1998 to 2011, the defendant was convicted of felonies for illegally re-entering the United States five times after being deported, according to court documents.

Authorities in San Francisco have confirmed to this newspaper that the gun used to kill Steinle belonged to a federal agent, a development first reported by ABC7 News. The source, who requested anonymity because authorization to speak publicly on the matter had not been granted, declined to comment about where investigators discovered the gun or how the suspect might have come into possession of it.


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