Steinle famly to file suit over daughter's death in Pier 14 shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The family of a woman shot and killed at San Francisco's Pier 14 last month on Monday said they plan to sue city and federal officials.

San Francisco resident Kathryn "Kate" Steinle, 32, a Pleasanton native, was fatally shot on July 1 while walking with family members on the Pier in broad daylight.

Within an hour of the shooting, police arrested Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times and has seven prior felony convictions, including four involving narcotics.

The shooting and arrest have triggered a national debate on San Francisco's Sanctuary City policy, which limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national, had been released from San Francisco County Jail in April despite a request from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to detain him so that ICE field agents could deport him for a sixth time.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who has borne the brunt of the criticism following the incident, has argued that cooperating with the ICE request would have violated San Francisco's Sanctuary City and Due Process for All policies, as well as the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

Monday evening, Mirkarimi issued a statement saying that while he "can't comment on potential litigation, he continues to extend his deepest sympathy to the Steinle family for their loss."

The Steinle family plans to file claims against Mirkarimi, ICE and the Bureau of Land Management, according to a statement released Monday evening.

The gun used in the shooting had been previously reported stolen by a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger while he was traveling on official business in San Francisco.

In a preliminary hearing last week to determine if Lopez-Sanchez would stand trial for murder experts testified that the bullet that killed Steinle appears to have ricocheted off of something before hitting her, suggesting that she was not the intended target. That hearing has been continued to Sept. 3.