Francisco Sanchez, charged with killing Kathryn Steinle last week, says he has little memory of the night she died

By Tara Fowler
Updated July 08, 2015 11:15 AM

The gun used in the slaying of a woman who was shot dead while walking with her family on San Francisco’s Pier 14 belonged to a federal agent, multiple outlets report.

It’s still unclear how Francisco Sanchez, 45, got the gun that killed 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle last Wednesday, though he reportedly told ABC7 News that he found it wrapped in a T-shirt. He claims that when he picked it up, it accidentally went off and shot Steinle, hitting her in the torso and killing her.

A source told the Associated Press that a weapons check revealed that the gun belonged to a federal agent, while another source told the San Francisco Chronicle that the gun had been stolen from the agent during a car burglary in June. But how the weapon ended up on the pier last week remains a mystery.

Sanchez, a repeat felon who’s been deported from the United States five times, claimed to have little memory of the fateful night, saying he’d taken sleeping pills he’d discovered in a dumpster before he ever stumbled across the gun. After the shooting, Sanchez kicked the gun into San Francisco Bay and walked away, allegedly unaware that he’d shot someone until police arrested him just hours later. He told officers he’d been shooting at sea lions.

He’s charged with first-degree murder, for which he has pleaded not guilty.

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