SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - Kathryn Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend along scenic Pier 14 at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, when she suddenly collapsed. Her father didn't realize at first that she had been shot in the chest.
San Francisco police say it was a random shooting and announced Thursday that a suspect Francisco Sanchez, 45, has been arrested and charged with homicide.
"He is known to be on probation out of the state of Texas," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, who said Sanchez did not have a weapon when he was located and taken in for questioning Wednesday at Piers 38/40.
"The victim and suspect were not known to each other so we are still looking into the motive," Andraychak said.
Steinle, who was known as Kate, lived in San Francisco but grew up in Pleasanton where her parents spoke with journalists Thursday outside their home.
"Beautiful family. That's the only solace I've got. That's it. Is that we were so close," said her mother Liz Sullivan.
Her father Jim Steinle said they'd eaten at Perry's restaurant Wednesday and, as so many people do, they took a stroll across the street and walked down scenic Pier 14.
"We were walking three abreast, Kate and I and a friend of ours that's here visiting and there was a pop and Kate went down," Jim Steinle said.
The noise at first didn't register as a gunshot to Kate's father or a nearby resident David Osgood who took home video from a camera he says he usually has set up at his window for scenic bridge shots.
"Two or three guys were at the end of the pier and they rushed over, ran over to help her," said Osgood.
The Good Samaritans crouched by Kate's father in the white shirt as he bent over his daughter. Police say Kate told her dad, she didn't feel well.
It turns out she'd been shot.
Police swept the area and KTVU cameras caught officers taking the person of interest into custody about 7:25 Wednesday about a mile away at Piers 38/40.
Police say they are still trying to piece together what happened leading up to the fatal gunshot.
Kate's mother Thursday told reporters she'd heard one explanation.
"He was shooting at a seal," Sullivan told reporters, as her husband stood by and followed up with the comment, "We don't know."
About noon Thursday, police divers searched the water near Pier 14 for evidence. They eventually pulled out a black box, but wouldn't say what it contained.
Kate's family says the 32-year-old worked at the medical device company Medtronic and was a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
"She was just a young woman starting to be in her prime and had so much to live for. And to die so senselessly. It's terrible," her father said.
Police say they are still looking for anyone who might have taken a photo or video of the area around Pier 14 between 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
Investigators say there might be clues that could help in the investigation.
Police are planning to have extra patrols out during the holiday weekend on the Embarcadero.