SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A law enforcement official says the weapon used in the shooting death of a woman on a San Francisco pier belonged to a federal agent – the latest twist in a case that has become a flashpoint in the country’s debate over immigration.
The official, who had been briefed on the matter, said Tuesday that a check of the gun’s serial number shows it belonged to a federal agent.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]The official – who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity – declined to elaborate.
The San Francisco Police Department, which is investigating the case, refused to comment on the disclosure.
The suspected gunman, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, has been deported to his native Mexico five times and is suspected of living in the United States illegally when Kathryn Steinle, 32, was gunned down last week while on an evening stroll with her father along San Francisco’s popular waterfront area.
Federal officials transferred Sanchez to San Francisco’s jail in March to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge after Sanchez completed his latest prison term for illegally entering the country.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”553157113d3ff”][vc_column_text]
The San Francisco sheriff, citing the city’s “sanctuary city” policy, released Sanchez in April after prosecutors dropped the drug charge, despite an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to hold him for federal authorities so deportation proceedings could begin.
Sanchez pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder.
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