Gun in SF Pier Shooting Belonged to Federal Agent

Francisco Sanchez pleads not guilty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2015 3:43 AM CDT
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi gestures during an interview yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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(Newser) – Another twist in the Francisco Sanchez case: The gun that the murder suspect claims he found wrapped in a T-shirt on a bench belonged to a federal agent and was stolen in a recent car break-in, sources tell the San Francisco Chronicle. The sources say the firearm wasn't the agent's official gun, and ABC News reports that the Bureau of Land Management is investigating whether the gun belonged to one of its employees. Sanchez, who claims the gun went off accidentally when he picked it up, killing 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder yesterday, the AP reports.

Sanchez has been deported from the US five times, and San Francisco's decision not to turn him over to federal authorities for deportation when a drug charge was dropped in April has been strongly criticized by lawmakers and presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, who told CNN yesterday that the "city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported." At yesterday's hearing, Sanchez's public defender said the shooting appeared accidental and argued that the media should look at the "ubiquitous nature of guns in our society" instead of the immigration issue, the Chronicle reports.

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