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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.

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?

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  1. To coin a phrase “at this point what difference does it make?”. The woman is dead and someone was holding a gun. The gun didn’t do it.

    • It makes a huge difference whether a homicide was accidental or intentional. There’s a reason there are different degrees of murder/homicide based on intent and premeditation.

      • The murderer stole a gun and had been deported numerous times. No, it doesn’t matter if it was accidental in this case. He should have been euthanized after the second catch and release. Had he not been in the states he couldn’t have stolen the gun or ND’d into the girl. Not the gun’s fault, it’s the Jackass’.

      • Actually, there’s not a huge difference between “gross negligence”- firing a gun in the direction of people, and specific intent- aiming at one victim in particular. In both cases there is a component of luck that takes over- aiming and hitting versus just shooting and hitting, that makes intent fairly irrelevant.

        • By that standard, you can argue Paddock had no specific intent — he couldn’t have been aiming at a specific person with a bump-fire stock at that distance.

          Paddock and Zarate both had guns in their hand during the commission of lethal crimes. I don’t care if Zarate didn’t “intend” to kill Steinle. There aren’t mitigating circumstances such as Zarate defending himself or stopping a threat to another person that would have caused him to have a good reason to have a gun in his hand. Why was he brandishing that gun, if not to commit a crime?

        • No, that’s flat wrong. The difference is intent, if an accidental/negligent happened, there is no intent. Paddock had intent to kill somebody, and succeeded, many times over.

          The end result for the victim(s) is the same, but intent is a key differentiator in charging and sentencing.

        • “By that standard, you can argue Paddock had no specific intent”

          Yeah, that’s my point, see how it doesn’t matter? If either guy pulled the trigger when pointed at people, it doesn’t matter if he had intent to kill or was grossly negligent- they’re both the same.

        • Zarate was here illegally (committing a crime) and stole the gun (again a crime) and killed someone. I think there is little difference here in this case than if Zarate had been robbing a Stop & Rob store and his gun mysteriously discharged and killed someone. He is guilty of murder in the commission of a crime, being here illegally.

      • In this case intent shouldn’t matter. He committed a felony (stealing a firearm) that led to someone’s death. That’s felony murder.

      • He was here illegally, that is a crime. She died in the commission of a crime. Felony murder. Period. Fry his ass.

      • The only difference is how many days of 3 hots and a cot he gets and how soon he sneaks BACK into the country.

    • Since he’s here illegally he doesn’t have the constitutional right to have the case against him proven beyond a reasonable doubt ?? What??!! That’s un-American. That’s some crap ISIS would do

      Who cares where he’s from or how he got here, he’s got a God given right to his day in court. No person can be deprived of liberty in this country unless they are convicted of a crime pursuant to the rule of law.

      • He has no liberty! He was here illegally and is not a “citizen” under Constitutional law. He committed multiple crimes, both federal and state. Besides, any person that picks up a firearm takes responsibility for a “negligent discharge”! Even the military and police are held responsible for negligent discharges!

    • Why hasn’t anyone brought up the question as to what the hell is an illegal doing with a handgun in the first place and why is he in possession of a STOLEN gun belonging to an government employee?

    • Who or whatever caused this tragedy should not allow the basic reason to be forgotten.
      The “Shooter” had no business being here, none at all. Those in position to have him returned to Mexico where he belonged ,FAILED in their responsibility, and what then happened should be laid directly at their feet.
      KATE deserved to live her life out in the normal way.
      The dumb-shits in San Francisco who robbed her of this God Given right should be made to pay. In doing so,
      those who follow in the years to come will have the protection of the law that we all pay for so dearly in the taxation we all contribute to.
      ‘Kate should be here, her parents should be looking forward to the Grand Children she would be bringing
      them….all of this was robber from them…a true tragedy. Shame on the Liberal Politicians.

    • The wetback had been thrown out of the country multiple times and was here again illegally, and he stole the Glock, and he was not eligible to have a gun in this country because he is a criminal. The SOB should be hung, but the wimps in California don’t have the guts to do it.

    • He never should’ve had a gun in the first place and never should’ve been in the country to start with.

  2. Whole thing sounds like bullshit to me. (Again) I hate conspiracy theories, but . . . no ricochet is going to come more than 6″-8″ off of the ground (with enough force to kill) and there wasn’t a wall to ricochet off of where she was walking with her dad.

    Gun ‘stolen’ from a Ranger’s car winds up in a bag by a park bench?

    Weird cr_p.

    • The name of the Ranger has never been released. Why??? Was this government agent also negligent by their actions?? It may even have been a female agent. Feminist don’t want a women of authority looking bad. Same for a racial minority. We are left to assume it was an old fat white guy who left his gun unsecured.

      • We’re left to believe this isn’t a total set-up. The left is claiming that this incident ‘plays right into the hands’ of those for border control.

        Well, it sure plays into the hands of the POS gun-controllers.

        • You’re right. Too many unanswered questions with the big one being, “What the hell is an illegal Mexican who had been deported FIVE times doing in this country and with a gun?” To me, that’s an automatic guilty.

  3. Calling a criminal alien an “undocumented American” gives cover and excuses those that have violently attacked our nation’s sovereignty by their mere illegal presence. Those that champion and assist their infiltration, ONLY do so as a means to usurp our Constitutional Republic.

    • And all immigrants should be pissed as hell when we call illegal aliens “immigrants”.

      Yet many lawful immigrants, like Mrs John E Bush, love to stand up in public and equate themselves to illegal aliens. I just don’t understand it.

  4. From a bit of quick online checking, it appears that California does follow the felony murder rule:

    As such, I’m not sure that it really matters whether the shooting was intentional or a ND — if a homicide occurs in connection with his commission of a burglary (which California caselaw seems to include acts occurring afterwards), it’s felony murder regardless of whether it was intended or not.

    And, of course, this dirtbag should never have been there in the first place . . . hey, maybe we should add illegal reentry after deportation to the list of crimes that are subject to the federal felony murder rule.

      • Well, as I read CPC 459 and 460(b) (while I’m an attorney, I’m not a California attorney nor do I play one on TV), auto burglary is considered second degree burglary. Prosecutor thus has discretion to try it as a felony — and where a gun was stolen and subsequently used to kill someone, I can’t imagine that any reasonable prosecutor would not.

        Ergo, felony murder charge is still possible.

        • Still not possible. He wasn’t charged with burglary, and in fact nobody has been arrested for or charged with that crime.

  5. First off the bullet being flattened out partially doesn’t necessarily mean it came in contact with the pavement. If there were fragments of asphalt or concrete in the wound Channel and possibly still impregnated on the surface of the copper jacketing then I would say it did hit the concrete or asphalt, however if none of this is present then it very well could have hit a rib or another bone in the body and done the exact same thing. I find it kind of hard to believe that a 40 caliber round fire directly into the concrete or asphalt would travel 100 ft and penetrate into a person’s body with lethal consequences. But I guess it did. You would have thought that the initial contact with the hard pavement surface would have taken the energy out of the round almost completely. One of those weird flukey kind of things. But this fool should have never been in our country to begin with out robbing police cars or Land Management vehicles and who lives there duty pistol in a Land Management vehicle to get into a car all you got to do is break the glass out and we know California has some serious problems with auto theft. Probably some Land Management officer that is married to a liberal or is a liberal and doesn’t want firearms in their house and that’s why they decided it would be best to lock it in the car and that ended up getting a young girl killed more gun control that went right straight in the crapper.

  6. California is getting exactly what it deserves, but that victim does not, that jury of libtard will blame the system and let this piece of shit go. If we only had open borders this would not have happened is what those clowns think. They are making a nice third world country of California, good luck with that

    • For whatever its worth, we should remember that Kathy was a flaming regressive/socialist, as is her family to this day.

  7. Illegal alien illegally finds gun and whether deliberately or by idiocy killed Kate. Fry him…

  8. Comment on the new site:. generally I like it. But I miss the “next article” and “previous article” buttons.

  9. So a US citizen is shot and killed with a stolen gun by an illigal immigrant who had already been deported 5 times in a sanctuary city?
    Sounds like the state of california should be brought up on charges as an accomplice in her death.

  10. I really hate news sometimes. First off, the type of gun has changed multiple times. Some places I read it was a Sig P239. Others I read it was a Sig P226. And still here on TTAG, I read it’s a Glock .40 cal (TTAG, if it’s not a Glock, please change your story). Well, I guess the only consistent theme is that the bullet that killed Steinle is a .40 cal bullet.

    Then we get to the perp. Today his name is Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. Last year he was known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. Well, WTF is his real name?!

    Stranger still, and I can’t verify this anymore, but I remember initially that he fired the gun multiple times — which would DEFINITELY rule out “accident”, and quite possibly even negligence, and thus make this an intentional use of the gun. But in recent news reports, it seems like it is just one shot.

    Lastly, I see the distance between the perp and Steinle has changed since last year. Whereas it was reported initially that he was just several yards away, now we get reports that it was about one hundred feet away, or 33 yards. While I don’t buy the a ricochet + 100 feet theory, I also don’t like the changing story line.

    Oh, and Eff San Francisco. If I were Steinle’s dad, I’d sue the hell out of the city for this debacle.

    • “Then we get to the perp. Today his name is Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. Last year he was known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. Well, WTF is his real name?! ”

      All those names could be his. It is common in Spanish heritage countries to have a string of names, and to be identified differently (using whatever combination of names) in different circumstances. For instance, “María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, Molina de SeguraI: (known publically as “Charo”).

      I had a son born in Puerto Rico. Went to get his birth certificate, and had to ask for all three names to be searched. His certificate was found under his middle name as last name. At the time, in PR, the local vital statistics clerks had complete discretion as to how the name was filed for record.

    • Gun was left in a backpack while its owner, a Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and narcotics, went to lunch with his family. The car was then broken into, the backpack with its gun stolen, eventually ending up beneath a bench and wrapped in a towel. The illegal alien had no powder residue on his hands meaning the gun was fired while covered with a towel, the bullet travelled downward into a concrete wall ultimately ricocheting 100 feet and striking an innocent young woman.
      The illegal alien was deported numerous times for entering the U.S. illegally and that was his crime, choosing a better life. “Criminal” is inapplicable unless you count a 20 year old possession of marijuana a defining charge.
      Why not consider the idiot BFT agent leaving a loaded gun, one designed with a hair trigger, culpable?

  11. My initial pistol shooting was marked with low strikes. I’d push the gun, drop the barrel, jerk the trigger, flinch, etc. No doubt many beginners, with no training, do the same thing.
    It’s entirely possible that Zarate aimed and jerked the trigger. The bullet then hit MS Steilne. Could it have ricocheted? Yes, but it would still be going in her direction.

    • All true, but the standard for conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. “It’s entirely possible” and “could have” are the very definition of reasonable doubt.

      The case for involuntary manslaughter seems bullet-proof (to coin a phrase). The case for murder will require more.

      I hope the state can prove its murder case, because I want to see that scvmbag in prison forever.

  12. What would Mexico do to one of us if we some how managed to shoot and kill someone in Mexico when we weren’t even supposed to be there?
    It wouldn’t be any of this poooor baby BS we are seeing.

    Beyond all the conjecture, I’d have to look at the projectile, the scene, the marks on the ground and positions of everyone to make any sort of conclusion.

  13. “…Mr. Zarate pushed the muzzle downwards as he shot the gun.”

    Well there’s your premeditation right there, he know’s how snappy .40 is and pushed the muzzle down to compensate.

  14. I would say that Murder is possibly provable but a stretch, manslaughter for a ND should be a slam dunk. My point would be what would California do to a CC Holder for something like this.

  15. They might not have been there–But every illegal alien empowering loving Lib clown in the whole state and nation from Odumbutt down killed this lady!

  16. The real question here is why we’re wasting money on a trial. He’s not a citizen and is busy committing violent crimes, the arresting officer should have just put him down on the spot.

  17. It does not matter. He had the gun, he is responsible for that gun and anything that happens involving that gun. Just like any lawful gun owner.

    • Yes, he is responsible for what happened when that gun in his hand discharged. But the penalty he might pay depends on whether or not he intended to shoot the victim.

      When there is no relationship between the perp and the victim (e.g. rival gang members), and no known motive (e.g. robbery), then proving intent beyond a reasonable doubt might be difficult.

  18. Multiple time deported Illegal Alien with illegal firearm…MURDER PERIOD…Waste his Ass and toss the remains back over the wall with Live TV coverage.

  19. Range officer testified his gun had NO MANUAL SAFETY on it, and yet Sig P239 does. Have no idea why defense witness, said range officer, is trying to help the illegal. And worse yet, why district attorney has not challenged this obvious lie, jury should have been made aware the witness is lying on the stand.

    • I owned a P239 until very recently… it most certainly does NOT have a manual safety. It’s SA/DA with a manual decocker, but the decocker does not function as a safety.

  20. If you point a loaded gun at someone, a reasonable person would expect that that someone will get shot if the trigger is pulled, even accidentally. That’s why the Four Rules of Gun Safety exist.

    If you point a loaded firearm at someone, you are knowingly risking that person’s life. It may not have been premeditated, but its murder.

    • It seems the language is so sloppy now that we think of murder only as intentional, and manslaughter (is that term allowed to be used any more?) as “accidental” or unintentional homicide. or “accidental/unintentional” killing as manslaughter.

  21. So I have to ask:
    If you were carrying and had a stranger pointing a gun at you, what would you do?

  22. And I would agree with that.
    Get off the x.
    Moving is always the best bet.
    Probably not going to happen in San Francisco, but I’m thinking that he could have gotten himself shot if he was pointing that gun at someone.
    If a reasonable person felt that their life was being threatened, would that be self defense?
    If you accept that it was, then in a sense you would have to believe that he was going to be a murderer.
    Kind of make him then guilty of murder in this case as there was no self defense.
    Circular reasoning maybe but I don’t see it as an accidental discharge if he was pointing at anyone.

  23. “Undocumented immigrant” is code speak for hairball breaking the law. Unless your name is Willie Wonka stop sugar coating that shit. This ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADER killed a US citizen after being deported FIVE TIMES. Surely even liberals can count to five unless they have had a traumatic lawnmower accident. If the US fails to control it’s borders, the “one a week” murder of our sovereign citizens will continue. It boggles the imagination that deaths associated to “un-diagnosed psychos” with guns make the left gnash their teeth and stomp their feet but the parade of illegal alien killers that parades across the border daily nary makes a wave.

  24. As to the ID of the ranger and the stolen gun model:

    As part of their case, the defense attorneys have placed the actions of Ranger John Woychowski, whose gun was stolen from a car in San Francisco shortly before the shooting, at the center of their case.

    Woychowski was off duty and stopping off in San Francisco on a family trip to a temporary posting in Helena, Montana, on the night of June 27, 2015, when the gun was stolen.

    Woychowski said he left the gun, a .40-caliber Sig Sauer P239 that served as his secondary duty weapon, in a holster inside a backpack stashed under the front seat of his SUV parked on The Embarcadero near Pier 5 while the family went to dinner. The backpack also contained his badge and law enforcement credentials.

  25. !!!!!accidental gun discharges start with the shooter’s finger on the trigger.!!!!!if his finger was on the trigger then his intent was to shoot. the only negligent thing going on is our federal government not enforcing our “federal immigratiion laws”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. If some dies during the commision of a felony it murder. There were several felonies committed in this circomstance!

  27. If someone dies during the commision of a felony it is murder. There were several felonies committed in this circumstance! Not sure about multiple illegal entries is a felony, but possesion of stolen goods is, as well as possesion of a stolen firearm, and I’m sure there could be several more charges brought against someone in these circumstances.

  28. A beautiful American young lady is dead! The man that killed her was a criminal, in America illegally, and has been deported several times, was in a California City that decided that they were going to give refuge to illegals in spite of the law, that makes them, criminals! You see, when you deal with Californians you deal with idiots who are defiant and in this case, negligent, the young ladies father should take that city for all he can possibly get! Had they done their job correctly, the young lady would still be alive!

  29. Until we start putting politicians, and defiant judges in prison, this sort of horror is going to continue! Do you know when California politicians get tough on criminals? It’s when a self-described, movie-star, is affected, or a politicians child is murdered! The United States of America has been burdened by that insane asylum they call a state, for way, too long! When you have mayors, judges, and politicians, with brains destroyed by LSD, and twisted ideologies, you build a tall, concrete wall around them, and put armed guards atop that wall, and you cut off communication to that place! Our Country is full of treasonous, cock-suckers, who have discovered that money is all that matters in DC. It is so bad that the lunatics are in control of the asylum! A one-term, (absentee) senator from Kenya, by way of Indonesia, landed in Chicago, who had an anarchist mother with jungle fever, applied for, and was awarded Federal, foreign-student, grants to go to college in America! Later in his life a 1960’s domestic-terrorist, with a rich father who kept his son from prison by paying the right people, invited the half-black, dope smoking Kenyan to his home for cocaine, and cocktails. It was at that little gathering of like minded trash, that they plotted his run for President. Sounds bizarre I know, but this is America! So this Ayers fellow, a smart-ass, punk with family wealth, and an education, plotted the largest, fraud ever perpetrated against the American People! It truly was an anarchists dream team, literally! At some point this Kenyans mommie, had made acquaintances with Ayers, at some Chicago hood-rat, communist workshop. Barrack Hussein Obama, named after his Kenyan father, his mother was a white-trash, American, ho with jungle fever! So they took this skinny necked, Mule-eared, lad and made plans to take over America! They were dynamic, reaching hearts and tiny minds! It really was something brilliantly criminal to watch! He became POTUS, brought with him an administration of who’s who, in the anarchists Rolodex! I mean, they had members of the Weather-Underground, the Black-Panther-Party, The Symbionese Liberation Army, whom in the early 1970’s kidnapped Patty Hearst, (allegedly) and the old guards of the DNC, would say, and or do anything to be in power, so they fraudulently jumped on the Obama-Train! Never in the history of America, has there been such a criminal-organization! Obama didn’t know how to run a cool aid stand, but he was elected not once, but twice! He spent more taxpayer money than all former Presidents combined! He brought in the most educated lawyers, the best economists, he turned America into a cess-pool of atheists, baby murderers, child molesters, gay, lesbanic, and transgendered, freaks that would make Barnham, and Bailey, blush! This back-ally-homo, bath-house-Barry, destroyed America, we have been printing counterfeit money, 24/7/365 since he got inaugurated! They were rolling, they made Al Capone look like Mr. Rogers! They made America the most racially, divided, country on the planet! They used the Adolph Hitler playbook, to the tee! They wanted to stay for a third-term, but couldn’t swing that one, so they plotted, and plotted, then came up with a plan, they were going to have Hillary Clinton elected President as a store front, and give Obama his third term! Hillary went on her world wide shopping spree, while enjoying that, she lied to every country she touched down in! She had everyone from Vladimir Putin, to the King of Egypt salivating, she lied, and they wrote checks! She even sold Russia 30% of our uranium! She and Obama were selling weapons to ISSIS in Benghazi 🇱🇾 and told the radical Islamic jihadist not to leave any witnesses, so she had them kill (D) Chris Stevens, the US. Ambassador to Libya, and three other men there to protect the embassy! So Hillary wasn’t even concerned about campaigning she was certain to be elected, until President Elect Donald Trump blew her fraudulent ship out of the water! So every NWO, salivating terrorist country on earth got a royal screwing! Their plans to take over the world came to a halt! Now the American Citizens won’t have their guns taken away, so we can’t go forward with our plans! Can you imagine the hate they have for Obama, and Hillary? Those two can’t even stand up straight for fear of a sniper from a tree top! The point of this rather vague summary is to hopefully, remind people who love this Great Country, to get behind President Trump, 100% he needs all the help we can give him, because every Hollywood imbecile, every rock & roll geriatric, and every left-wing radical professor, wants his head, because the self-described global elitists are the ones who own every celebrity in America, and they want to own the world! Hillary and obama made promises that they didn’t keep!

  30. The DNC, is a criminal organization that has to be destroyed! How much proof could you need? Donna Brazil’s new book about to be the number 1 seller, is the head of the DNC, and bless her American heart! She’s a 100% liberal, don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t stand her, until I heard her story! She’s a liberal, but she blew the roof off the coo-coos-nest! Check that book out, and I hope she doesn’t come up missing!

  31. Really an illegal with a stolen gun shooting the gun sounds like a person in the act of committing a crime , if a death results during the commission of a crime isn’t that a felony murder?

    • Actually, it makes NO difference, according to the law if a person is involved in a crime and another person is killed during the commission of that crime then the person involved is guilty of murder. 1. Possession of a stolen weapon is a crime. 2. Illegal entry into the country is a crime. (He should be tried in Federal Court)
      If you are the getaway driver of a car during a bank robbery, not even in the bank, and someone is killed during the commission of that crime, you and all who participated are guilty of murder.

  32. She would still be alive if our immigration laws were enforced and there wasn’t a sactuary city harboring this 5 TIME DEPORTED fugitive that killed her with a STOLEN weapon. when is California going to wake up?

  33. hair pin triggers are real my uncle owned one and gun was wrapped in a t shirt the idiot picked gun up it discharged glanced off pavement struck a pedestrian in back those are the facts- he didnt murder her in cold blood people . he should be deported but not a murder anymore if he would have stolen a car and hit a pedestian crossing road . the fact is our stupid president shouldnt be commenting on things he knows nothing factual about which is a lot by the way!

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