U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said a homeless man arrested in connection with a pair of fatal stabbings at a Northern California church is an illegal immigrant with an extensive criminal background.
32-year-old Fernando de Jesus Lopez-Garcia allegedly stabbed five people Sunday, including two who died-at the Grace Baptist Church in San Jose.
Authorities said his criminal history includes convictions for battery of an officer, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism. He was also previously deported three times, but protected by local sanctuary laws.
The mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, slammed the county’s sanctuary policies by pointing out they allowed Lopez-Garcia to be released despite prior convictions.
“In this case, I’m told the county received an ICE detainer arrest, but did not notify ICE of the defendant’s release,” explained the mayor. “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.”
Lopez-Garcia is being charged with two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and battery