SAN FRANCISCO, July 4 (UPI) -- The man who allegedly shot and killed a woman along the San Francisco waterfront earlier this week is an illegal immigrant who was deported five times in the past, authorities said.
Investigators say Francisco Sanchez was the gunman at the city's popular Pier 14 Wednesday night who shot Kathryn "Kate" Steinle. At the time, she was taking a walk with her father along the picturesque bayfront.
Sanchez, a 45-year-old Mexican national who was on probation at the time of the shooting, was arrested on suspicion of homicide a short time later.
Officials say Sanchez has a long criminal rap sheet that includes seven felonies -- and had previously been deported from the United States on five separate occasions, the most recent in 2009. Each time, apparently, he managed to find a way to return.
"He should have never been out, and now our daughter is gone forever," Steinle's mother, Liz Sullivan, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Steinle, 32, was not acquainted with Sanchez, police said, and the shooting appears to be random. Sanchez reportedly told police that he was shooting at sea lions, which are commonly present along the city's waterfront Embarcadero district, and hit Steinle by accident.
Details of Sanchez's prior convictions and deportations were not immediately revealed by authorities, but the revelation that Steinle was killed by someone who shouldn't have even been in the country is once again pushing the immigration issue into the public consciousness.
Presidential candidate and real estate magnate Donald Trump, who has previously slammed the country's border security, didn't mince words on Twitter -- where he took the opportunity to again denounce border security.
"Our Southern border is totally out of control. This is an absolutely disgraceful. We need border security!" Trump tweeted, along with a link to a story of Steinle's death.
"I am the only one that can fix it, nobody else has the guts to even talk about it," Trump added.
Virginia Kice, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, said the agency turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police in March on an outstanding drug warrant, the Orange County Register reported.
Immigration officials accompanied the transfer with a detention order -- meaning the agency was supposed to be notified when Sanchez was released, so he could be rearrested and once again deported. He was released April 15, but the San Francisco Sheriff's Office did not abide by the detention order and did not notify ICE.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi instituted the "no hold" policy last year, saying that suspicion of being in the country illegally is not sufficient a crime to legally justify detaining someone subsequent to their release.