Neighbors, Airbnb spokesperson react to shooting at a rental home in Tower District

Crime

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Monday, neighbors detailed the chaotic shooting scene from the night before that injured a 15-year-old girl.

Fresno Police investigators said the shooting happened just before 9 pm at an unsupervised party at an Airbnb rental near Olive and Vagedes Avenues.

“People running both ways,” said neighbor Karen Thackery. “I heard someone say, ‘Where’s my daughter, what happened to my daughter?”

Thackery said she was in her bedroom when she heard the gunfire ring out. She walked outside, and all of a sudden her normally quiet neighborhood turned into a chaotic crime scene.

Thackery said dozens of teenagers ran from the scene and several cars crashed into parked cars on the street as they tried to get away.

“There was just so much loud,” said Thackery. “It was so loud, there were people screaming, but it was the bullets that scared me.”

“There were multiple police cars,” said neighbor Ellsworth Chapman. “Multiple people standing in groups.”

Investigators said adults rented the home on Vagedas Avenue for a teenager’s birthday party. Officials said around 9 pm an uninvited group showed up.

“They were turned away,” said Lt. Dooley. “Witnesses indicated that a vehicle had passed by several times before that happened and then the shots rang out.”

A house across from the Airbnb was hit at least three times by bullets. At least one car was hit by gunfire, which left behind shattered glass on the street.

Police said a 15-year-old girl was shot in the chest. Officials said she was taken to the hospital, had surgery, and is in critical condition but is stable.

Airbnb Spokesperson Aaron Swor sent a statement to our station reading:

“We condemn the senseless gun violence that took place in Fresno on Sunday. Airbnb bans parties, as well as the use of the platform by anyone under the age of 18 — and we have zero tolerance for anyone who attempts to circumvent such defenses. We have permanently banned this guest’s account from our platform and stand ready to support the Fresno Police Department in their investigation.”

Swor said the listing has been taken off the website until the investigation is complete. Swor said the host did not know about the party and the guest has been banned from renting in the future.

However, neighbors including Thackery are still concerned for their safety and are calling for owners to stop renting it out.

“What if we got killed,” said Thackery. “What if someone got shot other than over there? They need to stop doing this.”

Fresno Police are still looking for the gunman and ask anyone who was at the party to give them a call.

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