Police testify about evidence collected at Kate Steinle shooting scene

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The jury in the Kate Steinle murder trial listened to several San Francisco police officers Wednesday as they described collecting evidence at the scene and the moment the defendant Jose Garcia Zarate was arrested on July 1, 2015.

Officer Andrew Bryant of the San Francisco Police Department said based on the description of the suspect he was able to find him near the Java House on the Embarcadero, not far from Pier 14 where Kate Steinle was shot. The officer said he made eye contact with Garcia Zarate. At that moment the suspect looked startled, "like a deer caught in the headlight," testified Bryant.

When the suspect began walking away, Bryant said he got out of his vehicle, drew his gun, pointed it at the suspect and shouted at him twice to stop. Garcia Zarate eventually did put his hands up in the air and got down on the ground.

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Police also wrapped his hands in paper bags to preserve any gunfire residue. But Garcia Zarate's attorney Matt Gonzalez revealed today that police found a very small amount on his hands.

"If the gun was wrapped in something, that would explain why there was very little gunshot residue if any that ended up in the defendant's hands," Gonzalez told reporters covering the trial. Garcia Zarate had said he found the stolen gun under a swivel chair on the pier, wrapped in a piece of cloth. When he examined it, the gun accidentally fired. The bullet ricocheted, hitting Steinle who was about 90 feet away from the suspect.

The gun was found the following day by an SFPD underwater diver. He took the witness stand Wednesday as well.

Worth mentioning is the presence of a representative from the Mexican consulate in San Francisco who has attended all three days of this trial. Garcia Zarate is a Mexican national and was living in San Francisco as an undocumented immigrant. He had been deported several times.

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