Kathryn Steinle, 32, was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier in broad daylight.
Police arrested Francisco Sanchez, 45, on Wednesday after the tragic shooting.
Kathryn was walking with her father, Jim Steinle, and a friend when she was randomly shot in the back. Her father attempted to administer CPR, with the help of bystanders, before help arrived.
Liz Sullivan, the mother of the victim, said, “[Kathryn] said ‘Dad, help me, help me.’ She was so young. This is just like a bad dream.
Authorities sent divers into the bay around Pier 14, where the shooting occurred. They discovered a gun, but have not yet confirmed if it was used by Sanchez.
Soon before the shooting, Kathryn Steinle had just sent a photo of her, her father, and their friend to her mother. It was the last communication Sullivan had with her daughter.
“It was a battle, but she just didn’t make it,” Sullivan said.
After the attack on Kathryn Steinle and Sanchez’s subsequent arrest, it was learned that the suspect had been deported five times. He was on the road to a sixth deportation but something went wrong.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had Francisco Sanchez in custody before the tragic shooting. They turned him over to authorities in San Francisco due to a drug warrant. Although they issued a detainer to take the suspect back into custody, San Francisco released him instead. The authorities involved have declined to comment.
“His criminal history includes seven prior felony convictions, four involving narcotics charges,” an ICE representative said, according to the Washington Times. “Here’s a jurisdiction that’s not even honoring our detainer for someone who clearly is an egregious offender.”
Relatives of Kathryn Steinle were understandably furious when they found out the circumstances behind her alleged killer’s arrest and release.
“It would have been so much better if he were gone. Absolutely.” Kathryn’s mother told NBC Bay Area.
In mourning, Kathryn’s family opened up to ABC 7 about the woman they lost.
“She was the most wonderful, loving, caring person and if anybody could take anything from this – if you love somebody, just tell them that you love them,” said Brad Steinle, brother to Kathryn. “We loved Kate, and I will love her till the day I die. I had the best sister.”
Jim Steinle was clear that their family hoped Kathryn was in a better place.
“We have deep faith,” he said. “Our faith isn’t to the point where we’re ready to forgive.”
[ Image courtesy of Steinle Family ]