Airbnb Bans ‘Party Houses’ After Deadly Halloween Shooting At California Rental Home

2019-11-03 08:03:36

Airbnb said it’s banning “party houses” from its platform following a shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California that left five people dead.

Calling the deadly attack “unacceptable,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on Twitter Saturday that the company was prohibiting all “party houses,” effective immediately. He added that Airbnb would also redouble its efforts to “combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct.”

Chesky described some of the steps that Airbnb planned to take including “expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations” and creating a “dedicated ‘party house’ rapid response team.” He did not elaborate on how this team would operate nor how many people it would include.

“We must do better, and we will,” Chesky wrote.

The shooting occurred Thursday at a home in the city of Orinda reportedly owned by Airbnb user Michael Wang. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the rental listing had clearly stated that no parties were to be held at the property; authorities said more than 100 people gathered at the home for a costume party celebrating Halloween.

Wang told the Chronicle that he called the police after neighbors alerted him to the party and he saw a crowd of people at the house through his home security camera.

“[The police] were on the way to go there to stop them, but before we got there, the neighbor already sent us a message saying there was a shooting,” Wang said.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that arriving officers had encountered a “highly chaotic scene that included gunshot victims, injured party-goers, and numerous people fleeing.”

Three people died at the scene and two others died at the hospital, the sheriff’s office said. Those killed have been identified as Oshiana Tompkins, 19; Tiyon Farley, 22; Omar Taylor, 24; Ramon Hill Jr., 23; and Javin County, 29. 

As of Saturday night, police had yet to make an arrest in the case. No other details about the suspect nor a possible motive had been publicly released.

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