The perpetrator of the Grace Baptist Church stabbing incident that happened a few days ago was found to be an illegal immigrant with previous criminal records.
Investigations revealed that the homeless man that was arrested in connection with the stabbing attack that killed two people and wounded three others at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose, California is a 32-year-old illegal immigrant named Fernando De Jesus Lopez-Garcia, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials told One America News.
The ICE revealed that the suspect had an extensive criminal history. He had been deported three times prior to this case. Local sanctuary laws, however, protected him and allowed him to get back. Officials clarified that the suspect does not belong to any homeless community nor represent immigrants.
Officials also revealed the list of his previously reported criminal cases. Among them were vandalism, battery of an officer, and assault with a deadly weapon. After committing another violent act, he is once again faced with another set of charges, namely three counts of attempted murder and battery and two counts of murder.
De Jesus Lopez-Garcia was supposed to be imprisoned for several cases such as inflicting corporal injury on a spouse and other charges. The ICE issued three different immigration detainers for him - on July 18, 2019, Aug. 28, 2019, and June 9, 2020- but the local jails failed to honor all three detainers and let him loose on the streets, without informing the ICE.
He then committed the crime at the Grace Baptist Church on Nov. 22, at 8:00 p.m. He was supposed to be detained in the Santa Clara County jail -the local jail that received the third detainer from the ICE- but wasn't as the jail did not honor the ICE's directive.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo questioned the proceeding on how an illegal immigrant deported three times with existing previously filed cases was able to walk once again in the streets of California and inflict harm that claimed the lives of people.
"In this case, I'm told the county received an ICE detainer arrest but did not notify ICE of the defendant's release," Liccardo said. "He should have been in jail, in federal custody, in drug treatment, or in jail in his own country, but not on the streets in our community," the mayor added, according to One America News Network.
Liccardo condemned Santa Clara County on how they handled the case. He added that the authorities should have coordinated with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Here we have catastrophic proof of the abject failure of California's sanctuary policies. The only person this policy protected was a criminal; permitting him to reoffend over and over again," David Jennings, San Francisco ICE ERO field office director said.
"Regrettably, politics continues to prevail over public safety, the detainers were ignored, and De Jesus Lopez-Garcia was released to the street."
Reports say that Garcia was assisting the other volunteers and helping in the homeless service before the attack. The suspect is known as a regular guest of the church and has been working with the volunteers for some time.
Due to his random act of violence that manifested the night of the killing, officials suspect that Lopez could be under the influence of drugs or abusive substances. However, Police Chief Officer Eddie Garcia refused to confirm the allegations as there are still no drug test results to prove the speculation.
De Jesus Lopez-Garcia remains under police custody and will face his charges in December after clearing with the COVID-19 restriction protocols.