San Francisco Woman Shot, Killed While Strolling on Pier with Father in 'Random Shooting'

She was reportedly on her way to see her brother and his wife expecting a baby.

July 3, 2015, 3:58 PM

— -- A San Francisco woman was recently shot and killed in a seemingly "random shooting" while she was strolling and taking photos with her father in a tourist-heavy area of the city, according to the authorities and the victim's family.

Kathryn Steinle, 31 -- a medical sales rep on her way to see her sister-in-law, who was expecting a baby -- was shot in her upper torso at Pier 14 in San Francisco on Wednesday around 6:30 p.m., police said.

Despite a Good Samaritan helping officers attend to Steinle before paramedics arrived, she later died at San Francisco General Hospital.

The alleged shooter, Francisco Sanchez, 45, fled the scene, but officers found him in front of a restaurant in the area about an hour after Steinle was shot. Sanchez was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting, and he has been formally charged with Steinle's murder, according to authorities.

It was not clear what he was on probation for.

"There does not appear to be any connection between the victim and the suspect," San Francisco Police Sgt. Mike Andraychak told ABC News affiliate KGO. "At this point, it appears to be a random shooting incident."

Sanchez has been previously deported five times to his home country of Mexico and his criminal history includes seven prior felony convictions, four of which involve narcotics charges, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

PHOTO: This undated photo released by the San Francisco Police Department shows Francisco Sanchez.
This undated photo released by the San Francisco Police Department shows Francisco Sanchez.

It was not clear what the other convictions were for.

ICE said in a statement that Sanchez was turned over to the San Francisco Police Department this past March on an outstanding drug warrant and that the department requested that police notify ICE prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody.

However, police did not honor the detainer, ICE said, adding that the case "illustrates the importance of jurisdictions working with ICE in order to avoid needless tragedy in their communities."

San Francisco PD did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the allegations from ICE.

But the San Francisco Sheriff's Department said that it had no "legal basis" to hold Sanchez based on a federal immigration detainer, according to the Associated Press.

According to Freya Horne, a lawyer for the Sheriff's Department, the city only turns over illegal immigrants if there's an active warrant for their arrest, the AP said.

So he was released on April 15, Horne said.

In the meantime, Steinle's family is in shock and mourning, KGO reported.

The victim's brother, Brad Steinle, told KGO his sister, who loved to make people laugh and smile, was supposed to see him the night she died to learn if he and his wife were expecting a boy or girl.

"She won't get to meet my daughter," Brad said through tears. "Cherish the people in your life, and who you love, and tell them you love them, cause I'll never get to tell my sister that I love her again,"

Kathryn Steinle, who was went by "Kate," lived in San Francisco, but grew up in the small town of Pleasanton, California. She graduated from Amador Valley High School in 2001, KGO reported. She eventually made her way to the city, working as a medical device sales representative for Medtronic, the station added.

"We are saddened and shocked by this senseless act," Medtronic said in a statement on Thursday. "Our thoughts and condolences are with Kate's family and friends."

On Thursday evening, flowers were left on Pier 14 to honor and remember Kate Steinle.

"She was amazing," her friend, Heather Childress told KGO. "She was a very compassionate person, her smile was infectious."

Childress and other friends also told KGO that Steinle was the kind of friend who was always there. When friends organized a charity bike ride for multiple sclerosis, Kate threw a fundraising dinner to help without being asked, they said.