Immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle was playing ‘Russian roulette,’ D.A. says

A congressional staffer arranges a picture of Kathryn Steinle, who was fatally shot in San Francisco in 2015. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is on trial for her slaying.
(Michael Reynolds / EPA)

A prosecutor in the trial of a Mexican man accused of killing a woman on a San Francisco pier tells jurors that Jose Ines Garcia Zarate brought a gun to the pier and chose to shoot it toward people.

San Francisco Deputy Dist. Atty. Diana Garcia said in her closing arguments that Garcia Zarate was playing his own secret game of “Russian roulette.”

She urged jurors to look at the evidence and said it was the only scenario that makes sense.

Garcia says the defense’s argument that Garcia Zarate accidentally shot a gun he didn’t know was a firearm was implausible.


The shooting of Kate Steinle in 2015 set off a national debate on immigration policy. Officials had released Garcia Zarate from jail because of the San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy.

The defense attorney says prosecutors have not presented any evidence to support what he calls a “wild narrative” that he wanted to hurt someone.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez says video evidence shows an unusual amount of activity in the area where Garcia was an hour before the shooting.