Kate Steinle not guilty verdict sparks shock from political, media figures

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant accused of murdering Kate Steinle in July 2015 on a pier in San Francisco, was found not guilty on Thursday night.

Steinle's death sparked a national debate regarding illegal immigration and sanctuary cities such as San Francisco.

Politicians and media figures have voiced their shock and anger over the verdict.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, "Jury convinced that illegal alien killed Kate Steinle accidentally. She would still be alive if we had a wall."

Former congressman Joe Walsh, in response to the verdict, tweeted: "America, 2017: Illegals are protected and Americans are left to die. America is lost."

Walsh added that "The next time you hear a Democrat talk about protecting illegals or defending Sanctuary Cities, remind them that it's because of an illegal and Sanctuary Cities that Kate Steinle is no longer alive today."

Conservative radio host Mark Levin tweeted that the verdict was a "shocking disgrace."

"If this worthless Congress doesn't pass #KatesLaw now, there is no hope for this nation," actor James Woods tweeted following the not guilty verdict.

"#KateSteinle will leave an enduring legacy. The stunning depravity of her murderer’s acquittal will be a turning point in American history. The lines are drawn. #BuildTheWall," Woods added in a second tweet.

Sarah Palin, a former Republican candidate for the vice presidency, wrote on Twitter that the verdict was "outrageous," and said "The illegal alien who shot her was just given more rights, grace and favor than the devastated Steinle family. San Francisco is NOT a safe place. - SP"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a statement Thursday, stating that San Francisco's position as a sanctuary city "led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle." He added that the Justice Department "will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens."

Ben Shapiro, a conservative commentator, called the verdict "horrifying." "Politics trumps evidence in California once again," he added.

"I am disappointed and angry at the not guilty verdict for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal alien who had several felony convictions & was deported from the US five times," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted. "Justice must be served for Kate Steinle."

Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action, tweeted: "The best way to honor #KateSteinle and protect the hundreds of Americans who are shot and killed or injured every day in America is to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."

Watts added: "Why are we more upset that she was shot by an immigrant than that she was shot and killed???"

"What a disgrace," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. "Don't let the rest of the country become California. If this isn’t a wake call up to reasonable and law abiding people I don’t know what is."

Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., tweeted it's "sickening that Jose Zarate will not be held accountable for murdering Kate Steinle. 5 TIMES he was deported and then illegally returned and now is literally going to get away with murder."