Francisco Sanchez, allegedly gunned down Kate Steinle as she walked with her father on Pier 14 last Wednesday night in an apparently random killing, according to police.
No further details were immediately available, but Sanchez spoke to ABC Station KGO TV in an exclusive jailhouse interview.
He said that he kept coming back to San Francisco because he thought the city wouldn't actively look to deport him.
In the interview, he told KGO that he took sleeping pills and then began wandering around the pier. After that, he found a gun and it went off, he told the station.
Sanchez was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting and served federal time for sneaking back into the country.
The killing spurred Immigration and Customs Enforcement to slam the San Francisco Police Department for not honoring a March immigration detainer for Sanchez.
But the San Francisco Sheriff's Department said in a statement that it had no "legal basis" to hold Sanchez because he did not have an active warrant. He was released in April.
In a statement given to ABC News today, ICE said it should have been notified that Sanchez was going to be released.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mikarimi told ABC News that ice should have provided a court order or federal warrant and that a 2013 law limits contact the agency can have with ICE.