SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal immigration agents were tracking a teenager who was facing deportation when he fatally shot a popular community volunteer during a robbery in San Francisco, authorities said Friday.
The slaying occurred on Aug. 15, four days after sheriff’s investigators say 18-year-old Erick Garcia-Pineda stole the murder weapon from the personal car of a San Francisco police officer.
Four days after the killing, Garcia-Pineda’s monitoring device was removed from his ankle, triggering an unsuccessful search for him. An immigration judge ordered him to wear the bracelet as a condition of his release from federal custody in April.
The case has stirred memories of the 2015 killing of a young woman on a San Francisco pier by a Mexican national who had been deported five times. A gun stolen from a law enforcement officer was also used in that shooting.
The shooting also ignited a national debate on sanctuary city policies that bar local police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities unless they are seeking suspects convicted or charged with violent crimes.
Authorities say Garcia-Pineda had been detained by immigration authorities in December and released from custody in April pending deportation. In addition to wearing the ankle monitor, the judge required him to routinely check in with immigration officials.
He failed to show up for his August appointment, said James Schwab, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE said a contractor received a tamper alert on Aug. 19 but authorities couldn’t find him. ICE told the man’s attorney that his client should report to them immediately.
The sheriff’s department says Garcia-Pineda was wearing the ankle bracelet when he was arrested on Sept. 3 on misdemeanor battery charges and deputies removed it. ICE says the Sheriff’s Department ignored a request to block his release from jail that day.
Investigators later connected Garcia-Pineda to the killing of 23-year-old Abel Esquivel during a…