As it has done in similar cases in the past, Airbnb announced Tuesday that it is taking legal action against the guest who threw an unauthorized teenage bash at a rental home in Sunnyvale on August 7 that tragically ended in a fatal shooting.
The guest, who has not been named publicly, has been permanently banned from the Airbnb platform, and the company said it had informed the guest Monday of its intent to bring legal action. As KPIX reports, the guest is accused of violating the company’s Community Standards and Terms of Service, and booking a listing under false pretenses.
These large house parties thrown illegally in short-term rentals have a penchant for ending in shootings. One such party at a home in Orinda on Halloween in 2019 ended with four people shot dead, and that case still hasn't been solved. In another case in Sacramento County in August 2020, an unauthorized house party ended in three people being shot and wounded — and that was the first case in which Airbnb announced legal action against the guest who booked the home.
That legal action came a few months before Airbnb's December IPO.
The August 7 party at a home on Navarro Drive in Sunnyvale drew police attention prior to the shooting occurring, and police were outside the home when the shooting took place. Neighbors had seen drunk teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 wandering the neighborhood, and the party was reportedly thrown by high school students from San Jose. The party had, like the Orinda Halloween party, been advertised widely on Instagram.
One person was injured, and the shooting took the life of 18-year-old Elias Elhania.
As the Mercury News reported two days ago, the lines of responsibility remain blurry when these rental-house shootings occur. In this case, the homeowner also had not registered the rental home with the city of Sunnyvale, as was required, and they allegedly live out of state.
Also today, Airbnb announced a fresh crackdown on parties for Halloween, banning single-night rentals for any guest without a good review history.
Top image of home on Navarro Drive in Sunnyvale via Google Street View