San Francisco

House Party, Shooting Has SF Neighborhood in Uproar

A recent gang shootout at a house party in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood has concerned neighbors and city leaders calling for a probe into the home's owner.

A spray of bullets sent people scrambling for cover in the normally safe area two weekends ago during what neighbors described as a rowdy party.

"What can only be described as a lengthy gunbattle, both on foot and in cars and circling around the neighborhood as well," San Francisco police Capt. John Hart said.

Two people were injured, and police are still looking for the people involved in the gunbattle.

According to the police, people from across the Bay Area converged on the neighborhood to attend the house party. City leaders want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

They said the home shouldn’t have been available as a short-term rental on Airbnb.

The city says the owner lives in Bali, Indonesia. The house is currently listed as a long-term rental. City Supervisor Hilary Ronen said that’s because Airbnb and VRBO pulled it from their platforms after the shootout. The city’s law regulating short-term rentals should have stopped the house party from happening.

"Had Airbnb not sued the city, preventing it from being implemented, then we would have kept this horrific incident in the city," Ronen said.

Airbnb recently settled that lawsuit. It’s now slowly removing properties from its platform that are not properly registered with the city’s office of short-term rentals.

Residents also want the city to do something about the absentee homeowner.

"When it’s somebody like this guy, who was living out of the country, and it’s turning into unregulated party house and unregulated club, then that is a very dangerous situation,' neighbor Bill Shields said.

Ronen said her office is working with the City Attorney’s Office to see if there’s any further legal action the city can take against the homeowner.

AirBnB provided the following statement Thursday:

“There have been over 200 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and negative incidents are extremely rare. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and upon learning of this incident, we permanently banned this guest from our platform and suspended the listing. Additionally, we have reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance and are in contact with city officials. The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbors and respectful travelers, but when issues happen to arise, we work to make things right.

Regarding the neighbors that were impacted, we are currently working to support them under our Host Protection Insurance program which will cover property damage that resulted from this incident.”

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