SAN FRANCISCO - The parents of a San Francisco woman shot to death by a man in the country illegally have filed legal claims against the San Francisco sheriff and federal agencies in connection with her killing.
Kathryn Steinle's parents, Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan, held a news conference along with their attorney Tuesday to announce their claims against San Francisco's Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold them accountable for the woman's death.
They filed three separate claims seeking unspecified damages. If the claims are denied, the family could file wrongful death suits.
Kathryn Steinle, 32, was shot to death on Pier 14 on July 1 as she walked with her father.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old Mexican immigrant who was facing possible deportation, has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
Her slaying touched off a national conversation about immigration policy and so-called "sanctuary cities."
Lopez-Sanchez allegedly shot Steinle with a gun stolen from a BLM ranger. At the time the gun was stolen, it had been placed in a backpack that was in plain view inside the ranger's vehicle -- a violation of BLM regulations on securing firearms, an attorney for the Steinle family said, according to CBS San Francisco.
Lopez-Sanchez, a felon who had been previously deported five times, had been released from jail in April after sheriff Mirkarimi declined an ICE request to turn him over, citing the city's sanctuary policy which allows such requests to be ignored, reports the station.
"Both statistics and this gentleman's history would tell you that what happened out on Pier 14 was not only forseeable, it was predictable," said Steinle family attorney Frank Pitre, according to the station.
The Steinle family and their attorney said they were prompted to act after witnessing weeks of finger-pointing over the killing and no change in the sanctuary city policies.
"We're here to make sure that a change is made so no one has to endure the pain my mom and dad and I go through on a daily basis," Kathryn Steinle's brother, Brad, said, according to the station. "Because the system failed our sister. And at this point, no one has taken responsibility, accountability, and nothing has changed."
Lopez-Sanchez maintains he accidentally fired the shot that killed Kathryn Steinle after finding the gun wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench.