On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle (32) was shot to death in broad daylight by an illegal alien ( a repeat felon who had been deported five times) in San Francisco while walking on a pier with her father.
Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who had been deported from the U.S. five times, most recently in 2009, and was on probation in Texas at the time, was wandering around the pier and fired one shot from a .40 caliber SIG Sauer P239 handgun that had a seven-cartridge magazine.
The prosecution and defense differed as to what happened; the prosecution stated that Garcia Zarate intentionally aimed a gun at Steinle and fired at her, before throwing the weapon into the bay and fleeing; the defense argued the gun accidentally discharged and the bullet ricocheted on the concrete pier 78 feet before hitting Steinle. The bullet struck Steinle in the back, causing her to scream for help to her father. Despite her father and others performing CPR on her, she died two hours later at San Francisco General Hospital.
Garcia Zarate, who had been released from jail in San Francisco three months before even though federal immigration authorities wanted to detain him for deportation, was arrested about an hour after the shooting at Pier 40; the gun was found in the bay alongside Pier 14 the next day. The gun had been stolen in downtown San Francisco from a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s personal vehicle on June 27, 2015. DailyWire
“Justice was rendered, but it was not served,” stated Jim Steinle.
As they awaited the verdict in the trial of Kate Steinle’s accused killer, her parents and brother had one overriding wish. It had nothing to do with the severity of the defendant’s conviction.
Above all, they wanted it to mark the end of a public profile they neither sought nor enjoyed. Each media interview, each exploitation of Kate’s name for political gain, each still shot of her smile on television only amplified the anguish of their loss. Yet they also wanted to convey their appreciation for the many strangers who, having heard their story, offered solace and assistance.
“We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives, and think about Kate on our terms. Nothing’s been on our terms. It’s been on everyone else’s terms,” said Jim Steinle, who was strolling with his 32-year-old daughter on a crowded San Francisco pier when she was shot and killed on July 1, 2015. He, his wife, Liz Sullivan, and their son, Brad Steinle, sat down with The Chronicle recently at their longtime East Bay home for an exclusive interview they planned to be their last.
“We have never had a second of anger — not a moment,” Jim said. “Frustration, maybe, and sadness for sure, but no anger and no retaliation or vindictiveness or anything like that. We’re not that kind of people. Even if this guy gets 100 years in prison, it doesn’t solve anything, it doesn’t help anything. We would just like people to know … that’s the Steinles’ feelings.”
They had decided not to attend court to hear the jury’s decision.
On Thursday, the verdict arrived: Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of all murder and manslaughter charges. He was convicted merely of possession of a firearm.
“We’re just shocked — saddened and shocked … that’s about it,” Jim said “There’s no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served.”
Brad said he was “not surprised,” considering the “epic failure” that led Garcia Zarate to be released on the streets, and end up with a loaded handgun on the pier that day.
“I’m stunned that they couldn’t even get him on using the weapon,” Brad said…
Brad Steinle said he was “just flabbergasted” by the “culmination of errors” that led to his sister’s death. “Failure No. 1” was the feds’ decision to send Garcia Zarate back to San Francisco on a 20-year-old drug charge, which they should have known would never be prosecuted. The unsecured and loaded gun left in a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s vehicle, which was stolen. And, perhaps worst of all, a sheriff’s policy that allowed the release of a repeat felon who should have been deported.
In Brad’s view, those official actions were at least as responsible as the shooter for Kate’s death…
“I own a handgun,” Brad interjected. “I know that guns don’t just go off. But you have a jury full of people, the vast majority of which probably haven’t shot a gun before and don’t know the intricacies of how a gun works.” SFChronicle
Attorney General Jeff Session
Attorney General Jeff Sessions hit out at lawmakers in California and in sanctuary cities for the decision, in part blaming them for Steinle’s death.
‘When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,’ he said in a statement Thursday night.
‘San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle. DailyMail