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Woman randomly shot to death at popular San Francisco pier

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Artist Leo Villareal operated lights on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Pier 14 in San Francisco in Feb. 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO » A young woman was shot to death, apparently at random, while walking with her father and a friend along a popular pedestrian pier on the San Francisco waterfront.

The woman was shot Wednesday evening at Pier 14 and died at a hospital.

Police did not release her name, but she was identified as Kathryn Steinle, 32, by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Her mother, 69-year-old Liz Sullivan, told the newspaper, "She just kept saying, ‘Dad, help me, help me.’"

Her father immediately began CPR before paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital.

"She fought for her life," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the killing was unbelievable and surreal.

"I don’t think I’ve totally grasped it," she said.

The area is one of the busiest tourist destinations in San Francisco.

The slaying was particularly shocking because it happened in broad daylight in a place where tourists gather to take in the views, joggers exercise, and families push strollers at all hours.

Two television news crews reporting on the killing were later mugged at the scene, with a masked gunman pistol-whipping a camera operator. The robber took cameras from KNTV and KTVU before he jumped into a black BMW and fled.

Police arrested Francisco Sanchez about an hour after the shooting. Authorities said he does not yet have a lawyer.

Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said witnesses snapped photos of Sanchez immediately after the shooting and the images helped police make the arrest while he was walking on a sidewalk a few blocks away.

Police were still waiting for fingerprint identification on Sanchez, who is believed to a 45-year-old whose last address was in Texas. He was on probation for an unspecified conviction, Andraychak said.

Steinle went to high school and previously lived about 40 miles east of San Francisco, the newspaper said. She recently moved just blocks from the waterfront and worked for a medical technology company.

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