On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot by José Inez García Zárate, while walking with her father and a friend along Pier 14 in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco. Zárate claimed a gun had fired accidentally while he was picking it up. He claimed he had found the gun moments before, wrapped in cloth beneath the bench on which he was sitting. The shot ricocheted off the concrete deck of the pier striking the victim in the back. Steinle died two hours later in a hospital as a result of her injuries. On November 30, 2017, after five days of deliberations, a jury acquitted García Zárate of all murder and manslaughter charges. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm but that conviction was overturned on appeal on August 30, 2019.
The shooting elicited controversy and political debate over San Francisco's status as a sanctuary city, as García Zárate is an Illegal immigrant residing in the United States. Donald Trump, at the time a presidential candidate, cited García Zárate in support of his proposal to deport criminal undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and mentioned Steinle during his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.