2 dead, more people injured in shooting at a party at the Pittsburgh Airbnb rental
Two youths were killed and at least eight people were injured when a barrage of 50 gunshots erupted earlier Sunday inside a rented Pittsburgh Airbnb home, where police said around 200 people were giving a party. Some escaped the shots by jumping out of the windows.
The shooting marked the third time in nine days that gunshots went off during parties held at Airbnb rentals, including one near Sacramento, California, which resulted in the death of a teenager, and another which rocked a suburban residential neighborhood in Houston.
The Pittsburgh shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. when police were notified of multiple ShotSpotter gunfire detection alarms in the East Allegheny neighborhood on the north side of the city, the Pittsburgh Police Department said in a statement. .
More gunshots were fired when officers arrived at the scene and saw several young men flee and others fleeing in vehicles, according to the statement.
Bullet wounded victims were found near the house and taken to hospital by ambulance, police said. Other gunshot victims were taken to area hospitals in private cars, including two young men who were pronounced dead on arrival at the emergency room, authorities said.
A total of 10 people were killed, including two young men killed, police said. Several other victims reported broken bones and cuts fleeing the chaotic scene, according to authorities.
A preliminary investigation found that the shooting took place during a large party held at the short-term rental property, “with as many as 200 people in attendance, many of them minors,” according to the police statement.
“Up to 50 shots were fired inside, prompting some partygoers to jump out of windows, sustaining injuries such as broken bones and lacerations,” according to the police statement. “Several other shots were fired outside the house.”
No arrests have been made and investigators are sifting through evidence found at eight different crime scenes within a radius of several blocks around the Airbnb home. Investigators are also reviewing security videos in an attempt to identify suspects.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said at a press conference on Sunday that the shooting began after an “altercation” and confirmed that multiple shooters engaged in a gunfight. He said that in addition to the victims of the gunshots, five other people were injured by jumping out of windows or falling down stairs while taking cover.
“It’s our top priority to find out who did this and get them off the street,” Schubert said.
He said the “overwhelming majority” of the people in the party were young.
“This is something that shouldn’t have happened. This goes back to having too many weapons – too many illegal weapons – on the streets. Too many people having access to these illegal weapons,” Schubert said. “Innocent people have been hit … We are fed up with it and will do everything possible to take those responsible”.
The shells collected at the scene indicate that more guns were fired, including rifles, a police commander at the ABC WTAE affiliate station in Pittsburgh said.
“We share the outrage of the Pittsburgh community at this tragic gun violence. Our hearts go out to all those affected, including loved ones of those who lost their lives, injured victims and neighbors,” Airbnb said on Sunday in a statement to ABC News. “Airbnb strictly prohibits parties and we condemn the behavior alleged to have resulted in this criminal gun violence.”
Airbnb said the person who booked the house received a lifetime ban from Airbnb. The company confirmed that an “unauthorized party” was thrown without the knowledge or consent of the house host, who specifically stated on the listing page that no parties were allowed and that any rehearsal of a party would incur a fee. of $ 500.
“We will consider all legal options to hold this person accountable,” the Airbnb statement said, adding that the company is cooperating with the Pittsburgh Police Department investigation.
Facing allegations that many of the partygoers were minors, the company said, “We can confirm that users must be at least 18 years old to create an Airbnb account.”
The company also noted that its CEO, Brian Chesky, has joined a coalition of CEOs nationwide calling for tougher gun control measures to take illegal firearms off the streets.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said in a statement Sunday that police were using all available resources to find those responsible for the shooting and added that community members had contacted investigators with information about the incident.
Gainey said the shooting occurred as Pittsburgh police and city leaders have been working on a plan in recent weeks to tackle gun violence in the city. She said a special meeting of public safety and key community members is scheduled to discuss a citywide effort to combat gun violence.
“The time has come for us to move with a sense of urgency to bring justice to the victims and peace in our city,” Gainey said in her statement. “It is imperative that we come together now to help reduce the violence currently taking place as we begin to do the long-term work to end the culture of violence that is allowing for the senseless loss of life we are experiencing today. We need to say no more. and never again “.
Anyone with information about the shooting can call the Pittsburgh Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit at (412) 323-7161.