Five-time deportee, seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez said in a new interview Sunday with a local ABC News affiliate that he came to San Francisco because he knew the sanctuary city would not hand him over to immigration officials.
He also claimed that he was “looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction.”
Lopez-Sanchez has confessed to shooting Kathryn Steinle last Wednesday at Pier 14.
Had San Francisco authorities not refused a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request, Lopez-Sanchez may not have been in the United States and Steinle might still be alive.
“Did you shoot Kate Steinle, the lady who was down at Pier 14?” an ABC7 News reporter asked Lopez-Sanchez in an interview exclusive to the station. “Yes,” said Sanchez.
An ICE official told Breitbart News that ICE Enforcement and Removal had begun processing the suspect for reinstatement of removal from the U.S. in March. But instead Lopez-Sanchez was transferred on March 26 from the Bureau of Prisons in another city to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) because of a drug warrant. ICE then filed the detainer request to be notified prior to Lopez-Sanchez’s release from custody.
A San Francisco court dismissed Lopez-Sanchez’s drug charges on March 27.
San Francisco and SFSD policy is to deny ICE detainer requests, barring special circumstances, such as a warrant for a suspected violent offender. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed.
The 2013 “Trust Act,” signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, gave California cities like San Francisco more leeway in deciding whether to comply with immigration authorities.
In the ABC7 interview, Sanchez claimed that he had found sleeping pills in a dumpster and taken them before heading down to the pier. He strangely claims he found the gun on a bench wrapped in a T-shirt. In a new version of the story, he says the gun went off three times and that he kicked it into the bay. He then lit up a cigarette, walked away and claims he didn’t know he shot anyone until police picked him up.
Sanchez had initially told police he had shot the gun at sea lions ,ABC 7 reported.
“Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials,” the report added.
The same night Steinle was shot and killed, a four-time deported illegal alien in Laredo, Texas, murdered his wife with a hammer, according to his own admission. Breitbart Texas previously reported that Laredo Police Department admitted three prior violent encounters with the man. Federal agents told Breitbart Texas that Laredo police failed to inform Border Patrol of the encounters with the illegally present foreign national.
It was suggested that the woman would still be alive today, had police reported the man to Border Patrol.
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This post has been updated to reflect the fact that it was the S.F. Sheriff’s Department, not the Police Department, that refused to honor the ICE detainer.