Gun Used in Kate Steinle Homicide: Facts, Distance, Richochet, Bullet

Gun Used in Kate Steinle Homicide: Facts, Distance, Richochet, Bullet

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( The Sig Sauer P239 is a compact semi-automatic pistol that holds seven .40 caliber rounds in the magazine.

The .40 caliber bullet recovered from Kate Steinle’s body was a hollowpoint design. It appears to have entered her body while tumbling after ricocheting off Pier 14’s paved surface.

The Sig Sauer pistol was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger in San Francisco on June 27, 2015, four days before the homicide.  His vehicle was locked.

The gun was out of sight, in a holster in a backpack. The rear passenger window had been smashed in. The pistol was legally secured according to agency policy.


“My fiancee yells out, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this,’ ” Woychowski testified. “The back-seat passenger side window was smashed out.”

He said he called 911 and also reported the theft to his own agency. A BLM investigation found the way he transported and stored the gun did not violate the agency’s policy at the time, and he was not disciplined.

It is easy to understand how even a federal agent could be intimidated into not carrying a gun in San Francisco, when he was not on duty.  One of the problems exacerbated by policies that create gun free zones, is they encourage people to store guns in vehicles. That facilitates the theft of the guns.

The pistol was fired once. The bullet that hit Kate Steinle in the lower back was traveling upward when it hit her.

The .40 caliber bullet hit Pier 14’s paved surface about 12-15 feet from the shooter’s position, then ricocheted into Kate Steinle’s back 90-95 feet further down the pier. Kate Steinle and the illegal alien shooter were about a hundred feet apart when the shooting occurred.


Evans said he believed the gunman was seated in a chair on the pier 12 to 15 feet from the strike mark. He estimated that the bullet traveled another 90 to 95 feet “in a straight line” before striking Steinle in the lower back as she walked with her arm around her father’s shoulder.

The entrance wound in Kate Steinle’s back was elongated, indicating the bullet was destabilized and tumbling when it hit her.


He said that due to the “rectangular” shape of the entry wound, before the bullet entered the victim’s body, it either ricocheted off a hard surface, traveled through something, or there was a defect with the barrel of the gun.

He said, in his expert opinion, that it was consistent with a ricocheted bullet.

A photograph of the bullet, which normally would be cylindrical, shows that the one taken from Steinle’s body is crushed and covered in striations.

The Sig Sauer P239 is a modern, safe firearm. It will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. The defense argument in the Kate Steinle case is the shooter did not intend to fire the pistol.

The jury seems to have accepted that argument. The shooter has been found not guilty of all charges except the illegal possession of the firearm by a convicted felon.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Stealing guns from feds is not a new thing and it keeps happening. If they have to have a gun then I would suggest putting a bull ring in their noses and a chain to the gun. That may stop them from losing equipment including computers, etc.

Missouri Born

The Land Bureau cop was at fault for leaving his weapon in the car he should have had it on his person.


I had read that:
The gun was fired 3 times
He threw it in the water to “make it stop firing”
Judge would not let jury examine gun


What about the comments that the Sig had a hair trigger? Otherwise, this is just clickbait.

Wild Bill

@I, Who makes a “hair trigger” for the Sig?

Robert Hartwig

A Sig only has a hair trigger if the hammer is pulled back first. NOT something that could easily happen by accident. It takes a conscious intent for this to happen.If anyone else had done this a verdict of involuntary manslaughter would have been found.It is my personal opinion that this jury is a group of libtards who only came back with this verdict to poke a finger into PresidentTrump’s eye. I would recommend they all be given Psych evaluations.

Jim Macklin

A free trip home [First Class?] isn’t any form of punishment unless they tattoo their face with the word DEPORTED so it will be harder for them to get back once more.

The gun did not go bang by accident, the trigger was pulled. [Is it true it was fired three times?]

Reckless homicide or manslaughter should have been the charge. The jury should have required CITIZENS but it is reported there were three immigrants on te jury.

Let’s hope the new federal charges have a better prosecutor and judge.

John Doe

Either you believe in a jury of peers or you don’t. The job of the Defense is to present enough evidence to overcome the State’s assertions. It’s entirely plausible and possible that this person didn’t intend to discharge the firearm. As the author notes, it was a one-shot ricochet. There is no evidence the shooter had any previous experience with firearms so either he was extremely talented and able to hit his target with a ricochet shot from over 100′ away or it was a pure and simple accident and negligent discharge. Should he be deported? Sure. The Sig P239… Read more »


If it were a “negligent discharge”, then the appropriate charge should have been negligent homicide or manslaughter. I don’t know California’s requirements for these charges, but it seems as though the investigating authorities and district attorney failed to file the appropriate charges. It sounds as if the defense attorney did a much better job of investigating the shooting than prosecution!


All posts just evaporated…


This woman died needlessly, if California and San Francisco had done their jobs and put this scumbag away she would be alive. If the Federal agent has kept his gun on his person WHERE IT BELONGS AT ALL TIMES, she would be alive.
The criminal is just a stupid criminal, the Federal agent gets paid to carry his gun 24x7x365. No excuses. WE pay him to carry OUR gun, he should take better care of it. State of California and San Francisco are complicit in her murder.


The SF prosecutor went after ridiculous murder charges instead of manslaughter knowing full well they would not (and did not want) a conviction! That is the real crime in this case, a city that allows such illegals to wander the streets and continue to return to our country illegally. A city that does not let LE carry weapons off duty with out fear of harassment. A city that will not allow out of state tourists with CCL to carry, in order to protect themselves. A state whereby you will not be able to buy ammo on line and will need… Read more »


Federally, he will be convicted of illegal reentry. Maybe 4 years, with a mandatory consecutive 5 years for felon in possession of a firearm. There is no parole in federal sentencing. With good conduct time he will do at least 85% of his sentence. Then he will be deport to later sneak over the border and commit another felon.


The prosecution team did not try very hard to show guilt. They could have subpoenaed a firearms expert for a ‘show-and-tell” session to demonstrate how difficult it is for a P239 to be fired. Members of the jury should have been asked to press the trigger of a properly inspected and “defanged” unloaded pistol. that alone would have proven intentional firing by the w3tback invader.

Missouri Born

I put most of the blame on the Bureau of Land Management agent that didn’t have his firearm on his person.
Why does a law enforcement officer take his firearm off and leave it in a vehicle, you never know when it may be needed to protect yourself or stop a crime from happening.

Gary Norman

Hope you never need a cop,ANDY!

David C. Telliho

I hate when I have to leave my gun in the car. It`s only properly secured when it`s on my person.


I keep a gun safe secured to car in event I have to enter a post office or other government building, otherwise I avoid “no gun zones” like the plague.


MB, you can not go on post office property with a firearm, it is a felony to do so. This became law because PO employed people shot up post offices.


Please read my comment again. I said I secure my gun in a safe if I have to enter a gun free zone like a Post Office. I have a LTC, I know the implications of violating.

Jim Macklin

I had hoped public areas of the Post Office would have been included in HR 38. Maybe next year when teh LAW is amended.

Andy Buckmichael

Typical useless cop.




This case was about strengthening Sanctuary cities across the country and and emboldening illegal aliens to break the law…this case was a shot across the bow of anyone that wants enforcement of immigration laws in this country… these liberals don’t care who gets hurt or killed they just want things their way.. Kate Steinle ‘s blood is only jury’s hands now..they are just a guilty has the shooter himself..

Green Mtn. Boy

Illegal Alien and his actions.

VT Patriot

And the dems in SF can’t wait to bring more in an expand their voting base. What a great way to stick it to a progun President.
Where is this country going? I kope the feds keep this guy in prison for what I hope is a very short time until his death. Put him in a cell with ‘big Bubba’.

Wild Bill

@VT Pat, “Where is this country going?” you ask. This country is going to the primary elections and caucuses to do our part to drain the swamp.


My first questionnis WHY was this illegal foreign invader on the streets instead of in Fedreal costudy as law requires? Blame that on San Francisco. Second, WHY are BLM agents even armed? Feds have NO lw enforcement authority anyway. WHY do BLM guys have to be armed? Blame that most ly on the former kinyun excuse of a president. Third WHY did not the prosecutor lay valid charges, instead of shoot the moon charges he KNEW would never gain a coinviction? Blame that one on San Francisco again. A set up, and a travesty of justice. Fourth, WHY have Feds… Read more »