On 2015, Kate Steinle was shot and killed by illegal immigrant (a.k.a. undocumented American) Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. A national outcry ensued. Mr. Zarate is currently on trial for Ms Steinle’s murder. Yesterday, his lawyers argued that her death was the result of a negligent discharge, rather than premeditated murder. And not without reason. foxnews.com:
A veteran police inspector and shooting instructor testified Monday at a San Francisco murder trial at the center of an immigration debate that accidental gun discharges start with the shooter’s finger on the trigger.
John Evans, who helped lead the investigation of Kate Steinle’s 2015 shooting death, said handguns don’t fire by themselves. Evans, who retired from the San Francisco police department last year, sparred with the lawyer representing Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who is charged with murder for Steinle’s death. Garcia Zarate’s attorney, Matt Gonzalez, argues that the gun his client was handling while sitting on a San Francisco pier accidentally fired, striking Steinle in the back.
Gonzalez pointed out that between 2005 and 2011, San Francisco Police Department officers reported 29 accidental discharges of service weapons similar to the weapon used to kill Steinle. Evans countered that in most accidental discharge cases, the gun was handled improperly and fired with a finger on the trigger.
The key bit of evidence here — other than the fact the U.S. authorities had Mr. Zarate deported five times and he was living sheltering in a so-called”sanctuary city”:
Former Officer John Evans said Monday he and other investigators working on the case found a “strike mark” on the pier’s concrete surface four days after the shooting of Kate Steinle by a Mexican national who had been deported five times.
He said authorities found the bullet was partially flattened, indicating it had ricocheted.
The officer testified that the bullet travelled 100 feet from the point-of-impact on the pavement before it hit Ms Steinle. He asserted that Mr. Zarate had been aiming at Ms. Steinle when he pulled the trigger. Officer Evans said Mr Zarate’s .40 bullet initially missed Mr. Steinle — hitting the pavement — because Mr. Zarate pushed the muzzle downwards as he shot the gun.
The gun used in the homicide was a .40-caliber GLOCK stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ranger’s car in downtown San Francisco. Given the recoil generated by the gun, and Mr. Zarate’s presumed inexperience with firearms, do we believe this explanation? Or is it more plausible that it was a unintentional/negligent discharge that just happened to kill?