Airbnb bans 'party houses' after Orinda mansion shooting kills 5
ORINDA — Airbnb's CEO said the company was taking actions against unauthorized parties in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California.
In a series of tweets, Brian Chesky said Saturday the San Francisco-based company is expanding manual screening of "high risk" reservations and will remove guests who fail to comply with policies banning parties at Airbnb rental homes.
He also said the company is forming a "rapid response team" when complaints of unauthorized parties come in.
"We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable," he tweeted.
Five people died after a Thursday night shooting that sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda.
The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, the person with knowledge of the transaction told The Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Orinda earlier in the week fouled the air over a wide area.
The owner was suspicious of a one-night rental on Halloween and before agreeing reminded the renter that no parties were allowed, said the person with knowledge of the transaction, who was not authorized to publicly disclose the information and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
The owner, Michael Wang, said his wife reached out to the renter Thursday night after neighbors contacted them about the party. The renter said there were only a dozen people at the home but Wang said he could see more people on video from his doorbell camera.
"We called the police. They 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," he told the Chronicle.
No arrests had been made and there was no immediate word on a motive for the attack. Two guns were found at the property, authorities said.
Three people, all from the Bay Area, died at the scene and a fourth died at the hospital, authorities initially said. The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office identified them Friday evening as Tiyon Farley, 22, of Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; Ramon Hill Jr., 23; and Javin County, 29. The sheriff's office identified a fifth victim, 19-year-old Oshiana Tompkins of Vallejo and Hercules, late Friday night, saying she died at a hospital.
Taylor's father, Omar Taylor Sr., said his son was hired to play music at the party.
"Wrong place, wrong time," he told The East Bay Times .
Laneisha Epps, his stepmother, told KGO-TV, that the family is devasted.
"I personally think this was a senseless, careless act. It's such a traumatic experience the family is taking on now," Epps said. "Music and DJ'ing was his happiness, I don't even think he was going in thinking there was trouble or anything."
Omari Taylor told KGO that his brother worked as a DJ to help support his young daughter. "He was a good man. If he was here right now, he'd want everyone to stay strong," Taylor said.
"He wanted to be successful in everything and he wanted to care of everyone, take care of his children's children. That's what his plan was," Taylor told the TV station.