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Brother of victim: 'I was lucky to have her as a sister'
04:23 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Kate Steinle was shot and killed last week in San Francisco

A gofundme account has been set up in her honor

CNN  — 

All you need to know about Kate Steinle may be summed up in a post to her Facebook page the day before she died.

“Whatever’s good for your soul … do that.”

The 32-year-old medical device sales representative died last week at San Francisco General Hospital after she was shot at the city’s busy Pier 14.

Kate Steinle and the man suspected in her death, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the man accused in Steinle’s killing, told CNN affiliate KGO-TV that he did it, but it was an accident.

As authorities investigate, here’s what we know about this woman, who seemed to leave a lasting impression on those around her.

World traveler

Steinle was a world traveler. The Middle East, Europe, China and Africa – she visited them all, her brother Brad told CNN”s Anderson Cooper.

She liked to travel, but Steinle wasn’t just trying to check off cities on a bucket list. There was more to it.

“It wasn’t sightseeing that excited her,” said her best friend, Nicole Ludwig. “She loved to go meet the people, know the cultures, engross herself in the lives of people.”

Steinle left a lasting impression wherever she went, according to Ludwig.

“Kate was an amazing soul,” she said. “Everyone who met Kate knew she was very special.”


Steinle thought of others before herself.

“Kate had the biggest heart,” her brother said, telling the story of how in recent months she gave her brand-new jacket to a homeless man on a cold night.

The message to her mom, who bought it for her: You’ll have to get me a new one. “That’s just how Kate was,” Brad Steinle said.

“There’s just something incredibly special about her,” according to Ludwig. “She was incredibly genuine. She had the most pure intentions.”

There was no small talk with Kate Steinle, Ludwig said. She wanted to get to know you.

Charity work

In getting to know people, Steinle worked with the Challenged Athletes Foundation each year.

The group works with athletes with “physical challenges and supports their athletic endeavors by providing unparalleled sports opportunities that lead to success in sports – and in life.”

“What always impressed me about Katie was how genuinely she engaged herself with challenged athletes, how genuinely interested she was in their life, their tragedy, and guided them on how best to deal with that,” said CAF president Jeffrey Essakow.

The Steinle family has set up a gofundme page to support causes close to Steinle’s heart. They include CAF and PAWS: the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Turning a tragedy positive

Despite Steinle’s death, the family said it’s trying to focus on the good and not give in to hate and anger.

“All I feel now is love, but I’m thankful I had the time with her and she was the most amazing sister,” Brad Steinle said. “If I was able to talk to Kate right now, she would say, ‘Hey Brad, it’s OK, just spread my memory and spread love,’ and I know that would make her smile.”