Arrest warrant issued for undocumented immigrant acquitted of murder in Kate Steinle shooting

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of murder on Thursday.

ByABC News
December 1, 2017, 4:45 PM

— -- An arrest warrant has been issued for undocumented immigrant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was acquitted by a San Francisco jury Thursday in the killing of Kate Steinle, the woman whose shooting death on a San Francisco pier in 2015 ignited an immigration debate.

The warrant is for a supervised release violation. An existing federal detainer requires that Garcia Zarate remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and be transported to the Western District of Texas pursuant to the arrest warrant, a Justice Department official told ABC News.

Garcia Zarate was found not guilty Thursday of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter, but he was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The surprising verdict sparked backlash Thursday evening, including from President Donald Trump, who called the decision "disgraceful."

Steinle was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier as she was walking with her father in July 2015. Garcia Zarate claimed he found the gun used in the shooting in a wrapped T-shirt under a bench and that he went off accidentally.

Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen, had been deported several times and has previous convictions for re-entry after deportation. Before the killing, he had been released from a San Francisco jail after a minor drug charge had been dismissed. Garcia Zarate was released under the city's sanctuary laws although the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had issued a detainer for him.

The case gained national attention during the 2016 presidential race when then-candidate Trump cited it as an example of why sanctuary cities, which limit a city's cooperation with the federal government's efforts to enforce immigration law, should be ended.