Man on probation arrested in slaying of Amador Valley grad

Kathryn Steinle fatally shot as she walked with dad on San Francisco's Pier 14

A man accused of shooting and killing a 32-year-old Plesanton woman near the San Francisco Ferry Building last Wednesday had been deported five times for various felonies, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson reported.

Police arrested Francisco Sanchez, who was on probation out of Texas, on suspicion of killing Pleasanton resident Kathryn Steinle, a graduate of Amador Valley High School.

ICE officials took custody of Sanchez in March, when he was remanded to the agency after serving a multi-year federal prison sentence for felony re-entry following deportation, ICE spokesperson Gillian Christensen said.

ICE turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police on March 26 on an outstanding drug warrant, Christensen said.

The agency requested he be returned to ICE's custody upon his release, but that request was not honored, according to Christensen.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department did not immediately return a request for comment.

Christensen said Sanchez had been deported five times, most recently in 2009. His criminal history includes seven prior felonies, including four involving narcotics, Christensen said.

Steinle was with her family around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Pier 14, just off Embarcadero in the city's South Beach neighborhood, when she was struck by gunfire, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

Andraychak said medics found her suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso and transported her to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

No words were exchanged and Andraychak said there did not appear to be any connection between the victim and the suspect. He described the shooting as a "very random act."

Witnesses at the scene photographed the man and later their pictures helped lead to his arrest, Andraychak said. Sanchez was detained within an hour as a "possible person of interest" after police located him walking near the corner of Embarcadero and Townsend Street, a few block from Pier 14.

San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle grew up in Pleasanton, was shot and killed on Pier 14, just off Embarcadero in the city's South Beach neighborhood at about 6:30 p.m., Andraychak said.

He said that at about 6:30 p.m. Steinle was with her family about two-thirds of the way down the pier, "just out enjoying the day," when she was struck by gunfire.

Andraychak said her family, who live in Pleasanton, asked the police department to relay a message to the public, expressing their gratitude to all the Good Samaritans who tried to help their daughter following the shooting and to all those who provided police with information about the suspect.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account in her memory to support the charities important to her. At the account site, her brother Brad writes:

"I am Kate's big brother, Brad. And days ago the most loving, beautiful, and amazing person was taken from best friend, my love, my sister. Kate had a special soul, a kind and giving heart, the most contagious laugh I have ever heard and smile I have ever seen. Kate loved to laugh, travel, spend time with friends, and most of all loved her family.

"Please remember every day that love is all that matters. Loving friends, loving life, and most of all loving your family.

"The day before Kate died she changed her Facebook cover photo with a saying that said "Whatever's good for your that." Please always remember Kate and live your life by these words.

"We are truly grateful for all of the love and support that we have received and the idea that so many people want to keep Kate's legacy alive. We set up this page as a way to remember her and as a tribute to the amazing soul that she was. Any funds collected will be used to help the family continue to move forward and to support the causes close to Kate's heart. A portion of the funds will be used to support the charities listed below, but you can also make donations directly to them in Kate's honor."

The funds are Challenged Athlete's Foundation and PAWS: Performing Animal Welfare Society.

The safety of this busy tourist area was further brought into question last Thursday when two television news crews that were covering the homicide at the pier at about 6 a.m. were robbed of their video cameras at gunpoint by three suspects, one of them wearing a ski mask. The man also pistol-whipped a camera operator before fleeing in a suspect vehicle.

Andraychak said that while no arrests have been made in connection with the robbery of the camera crews, police have a photo of that suspect and have a suspect vehicle description along with license plate information.

Despite the homicide and the armed robberies of the camera crew, Andraychak stood on the pier today and said "This is a very safe place to be." However, he encouraged anyone who sees something or someone out of place to report it.

Anyone with further information, photos or videos, including footage from surveillance systems, is asked to contact San Francisco police at (415) 575-4444 and may remain anonymous.

Erin Baldassari/Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News, contributed to this story.

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16 people like this
Posted by Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:22 am

The blood of this crime is totally on Obama and the city of San Francisco. Obama's immigration policies enables "illegal" immigrants (aliens) to freely come America and stay. How many illegal aliens come here to commit crimes? It does not matter because this terrible crime was committed by one of the illegal alien's supported by Obama's policies. San Francisco's sanctuary policy enables this illegal immigrant (alien) to freely come and stay in San Francisco and kill.

8 people like this
Posted by Reynard
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:36 am

Get your facts straight. Obama's administration has deported record numbers of illegals.

Don't believe me? Here's the data: Web Link

13 people like this
Posted by Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

Raynerd, let's get all the facts on the table. Obama's open border policies are allowing more illegal aliens to come here so naturally there would be more deportations. But who is being deported? Obama's policies make it harder to deport violent criminals. Obama's policies focus on deporting non criminal illegal aliens and protecting the rights of criminals. Just as with this murderer, Joe Guzzardi, national media director of Californians for Population Stabilization stated it best, "If you can't deport an illegal immigrant who has been deported five times and is guilty of seven felonies, then who exactly is deportable?"

2 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:45 am


You're off-base trying to blame Obama, but I understand that you're one of those people who blames Obama for a cloudy day. Reynard beat me to the punch: Obama has deported record numbers of illegals and the facts show that.

If you want something to blame, you can blame San Francisco's sanctuary policy protecting illegal aliens, the easy availability of guns in our society, as well as this particular illegal alien who did the shooting.

As for your quote "If you can't deport an illegal immigrant who has been deported five times and is guilty of seven felonies, then who exactly is deportable?", you realize that this sentence doesn't make any sense, right?

5 people like this
Posted by Myth
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 6, 2015 at 10:41 am

It is not true that the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal aliens. It's a myth. They simply changed how "deportations" are counted. And the mainstream media and the obamabots are happy to repeat this misleading talking point.

7 people like this
Posted by Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 6, 2015 at 11:44 am


The quote is self-explanatory. This murderer had been deported five times and committed seven felonies, yet the Obama Administration (Obama policies) opens the border so he can freely come back and commit more crime. Liberals never look at the results of their actions. You use a report that record numbers of illegals are being deported as your "high five" when the blood of this murder in all over Obama's hands. What about the even larger percentage (record numbers) of illegals coming across the border? If Obama wanted to hurt America, what would he be doing different? Is he bringing America together or splitting it apart? Race relations are worse now than in the past 50 years. Peace on Earth (Obama's Nobel Piece Prize) also worse now. Can you spell ISIS? Remember Obama saying they are only a JV team, yet they were spanned by his exit from the Middle East.

9 people like this
Posted by neigbor
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 6, 2015 at 12:40 pm

This is not about Obama. The Republicans are in congresses now and they are not running to do anything about illegal immigration either.Everyone wants votes, so no decisions are ever made about immigration.

Open Ellis Island again and screen people. If you have no education or are a criminal, sorry you are not in.Then have a 20 year probation and if you commit a crime you are deported back to your homeland. Case closed.

All illegal immigration is not only Mexican. Its central American, Chinese , Ireland, Indian etc. You name the country. We need tougher laws and quotas again.
Other countries are building wall, Like Hungary,Serbia, Australia, The Dominican republic , Bulgaria. Why is such a non, no in this country. Why are our laws not followed?

Ross Mercorini should be tried for letting this guy free. No sanctuary cities any where in the US. Period

My heart aches for this family. No words can describe the anguish and agony that this family must be going through. This despicable animal has robbed this family of grand children and their joy and light.

A heinous death is to good for this scum

5 people like this
Posted by To Katies Dad
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Of course I m sorry for the whole family. But to Katies Dad, I pray that you find some kind of peace in that she was with you when she was passing...I have my own children and cant imagine this kind of pain, and of course I do not know how you feel, but her Mother was there as she drifted in to this world...and Daddy as she drifted out. I hope you find peace in this...somehow. Sincerely P-town mom

Like this comment
Posted by MM
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm

The news is reporting that a federal agent's gun was used in this killing. If true, this family has been let down again.

Like this comment
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm

the gun was stolen from the BLM officers car. The police will not release any more info on how it was stolen saying it is now tied to the killing. The question in my mind is was the car and/or the gun locked up?

Yes Obama is to blame. Can you say executive orders and illegal aliens. How about the lawsuit against Arizona by Eric Holder over guess what Illegal aliens.
Yes the republicans are to blame too. as is Ed Lee and the sf board of supervisors and anyone who supports or condones sanctuary ( aiding and abetting) cities.
Lets not let our elected officials point fingers and divide the American people to cover their sorry lost souls. They all need to be held accountable OBAMA should be first in line!

2 people like this
Posted by Law Abiding Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2015 at 4:43 pm

This was not an "illegal alien". This was a many time over "illegal alien" after numerous 'deportations". I think we need "different", and much stricter law for "repeated bounce backs". Apparently we had deported (sent him back) seven times!!! Unbelievable, Unforgivable. Not to be lumped in with other 'illegals'. The sheriff certainly could have 'given notice' to the 'FEDS' when he was going to be released..... they were instructed in the agreement to let him serve time in SF in the first place.
IF the Feds allow SF to basically 'secede' from US laws, that is pretty blatant. So any city that wants can not write their own laws on any issue that differs from US law ???????????? Feds better handle this fairly or that exact anarchy is exactly what we will have across this nation!!!!! Feds better 'step up' appropriately. Think what will happen. No selected favors, there will be consequences.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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