Thinking about renting your house out on Airbnb? Perhaps think again, as you never know quite what will happen and things could get very, very bad and out of control if those who do the renting don’t have the noblest motives in mind.
Such was the case in Pittsburg, where a group of teens rented an Airbnb house and decided to throw a party without the knowledge or permission of the property owner. Here’s how the City of Pittsburg police department described how that turned out:
As responding units arrived on scene, additional shots were being registered in the immediate vicinity and several young people were observed fleeing the area on foot and by vehicle from an AirBnB property that had been rented on Suismon Street at Madison Avenue.
Officers located gunshot victims at or near the scene who were transported to local hospitals by Pittsburgh EMS and Police. Additional gunshot victims arrived at hospitals both inside and outside of the city by private means.
Two male victims, both juveniles, were pronounced deceased in the hospital. There are at least 11 gunshot victims at time of writing, including the deceased.
The initial investigation reveals a large party was being held at the short-term rental property, with as many as 200 people in attendance, many of them underage. As many as 50 rounds were fired inside, prompting some party-goers to jump out the windows, sustaining injuries such as broken bones and lacerations. Several more shots were fired outside the home.
"*" indicates required fields
It is not immediately clear why the gunfire started and turned a raging party into a bloody gunfight with 11 people shot and two dead, with many more injured from jumping out of the windows (the party was taking place on the 2nd floor of the residence) to escape from the raging gunfire.
Airbnb, for its part, “Airbnb strictly bans parties, and we condemn the behavior that is alleged to have prompted this criminal gun violence and the tragic loss of life” in a statement to the Verge.
The Verge also, reporting on what has been done to limit the problem of houses turning to party houses, said:
Airbnb banned “party houses” in November 2019 after five people died in a shooting during a large Halloween party at a rental in California. Its policy prohibits gatherings of more than 16 people and stipulates that any evidence of parties can incur a $500 fee. The policy includes a curfew of 10PM to 7AM and restricts entire home listings made by people under the age of 25. Breit also pointed to the company’s neighborhood support line where neighbors can flag possible parties or party houses to the company.
So, while the party turned into a nightmare for the property owner and all those other people involved, it’s not the first time this happened and there have been shootings at Airbnb parties before, with the deaths from that Halloween massacre making it even worse.
Still, this Pittsburgh rager was pretty bad, and something likely to give those who might have thought about renting their houses out on Airbnb pause about doing so, particularly to a younger crowd.