A man suspected of shooting and killing a woman at a popular tourist spot in San Francisco was on probation and had been deported multiple times, officials said Friday.
Francisco Sanchez, 45, was booked at San Francisco County Jail this week on suspicion of homicide. He was on active probation for an unspecified conviction in Texas, according to San Francisco police.
Sanchez has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Friday. Four of those convictions involved narcotics charges.
ICE had turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police in March on an outstanding drug warrant, spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. Immigration officials issued a detainer at that time, requesting notification prior to his release so arrangements could be made to take custody.
“The detainer was not honored,” Kice said in a statement. “ICE places detainers on aliens arrested on criminal charges to ensure dangerous criminals are not released from prisons or jails into our communities.”
Sanchez was arrested Wednesday after police responded to reports of a shooting on Pier 14 near the Embarcadero and Mission Street.
Police found Kathryn Steinle, 32, lying on the pier and suffering from a gunshot wound to her upper torso. Bystanders and police tried to help her until paramedics arrived, authorities said. She was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Witnesses at the scene gave police photos and descriptions of the suspect. About an hour later, officials located Sanchez.
There appeared to be no connection between Steinle and the shooter, police said.
While reporting the homicide Thursday, two Bay Area news crews were robbed at gunpoint on live TV.
Part of the robbery was captured on air, showing a man hitting KNTV-TV camera operator Alan Waples with a gun.
Video showed the gunman approach Waples and put a gun to his head while reporter Kris Sanchez pleaded for him not to shoot, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Waples was flung to the ground and struck with the gun. San Francisco police said Waples suffered a head injury. According to KNTV, the cameraman’s ear was cut.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has come under fire for comments about Mexicans, issued a statement Friday evening about the shooting.
“This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately,” Trump said in the statement. “This is an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it.”
In announcing his candidacy last month, Trump sparked outrage for describing some Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug-runners.