Airbnb sues person who held unauthorized party where two were shot


Sunnyvale, California — Airbnb says it's taking legal action against a booking guest who held an unauthorized party at a house here earlier this month during which two people were shot. One died.

“Somebody should be held responsible,” Daniel Erickson, who's lived in the neighborhood for several decades, told CBS San Francisco. “I don't like that kind of thing going on. No, no, that was very disturbing.”

The August 7 party apparently had 150 to 200 guests, the San Francisco-based company said.

The party, which was advertised on social media, was in what neighbors described as a short-term rental property.

Officers with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety responded to the residence late that night.

Authorities said most of the partyers were teens. They said offers were trying to identify the homeowner when the shooting happened.

Eighteen-year-old Elias Elhania was shot to death and a second person was wounded, authorities said.

Both were taken to a San Jose hospital, where Elhania succumbed to his wounds. The second victim underwent surgery and is expected to survive, police said at the time.

Airbnb said it notified the guest on Monday of its intent to bring legal action, saying the guest violated the company's Community Standards and Terms of Service, and that the guest booked the listing under false pretenses. The unidentified guest has also been banned from the platform, the company said.

People renting properties through  Airbnb are prohibited from holding parties and other events. The ban was announced a year ago, following highly-publicized incidents at out-of-control parties at Airbnb listings, including a shooting at an Airbnb mansion party that left five people dead on Halloween night in 2019.

The legal action against the Sunnyvale guest is similar to other actions against guests in other cities across the country who threw unauthorized parties, including in Sacramento.

“It sounds like a good idea; it seems like a policy they should've been doing for awhile perhaps,” said Doug Caldwell, who lives near the Airbnb home.

Airbnb also announced Tuesday it would prohibit one-night reservations on Halloween for guests without a history of positive reviews and put restrictions on some two-night reservations in the U.S. and Canada.

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