Neighbors concerned after party at AirBnB home ends in gunfire

Millbrae residents showed up at a City Council meeting Tuesday calling for action after an Air BnB rental in a quiet residential neighborhood drew cars and crowds for a loud house party that ended with gunfire and a bullet piercing a window of a neighboring house last weekend.

Residents say they saw people arrive on Saturday night and one neighbor Paul Larson said he looked out his window and saw a lot of trash.

"Bottles, gum wrappers, candy wrappers, booze bottles, broken items, champagne cork bottles," said Larson, who added that he immediately called Air BnB.

Larson he said he called AirBnb and they sent someone out to talk with the renters and assured him there wouldn't be a problem. But as soon as the staff member left, Larson said  the crowds and noise continued.

Then about 1:40 a.m., he heard gunshots.

"Bam, bam, bam...eight gunshots. I was shocked. I ran to the middle of the house called 911 and they said they were getting multiple calls," said Larson.

Dozens of people started running out of the house. San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputies arrived and found shell casings, as well as a bullet hole in a window of a house across the fence.

"This kind of behavior is unacceptable we as a police bureau we hope that the renters are vetted before they stay in our city," said Captain Mark Kuykendall with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Residents told the city council, something needs to change.

"I fear for my safety, we just got a security system because I don't want to deal with any backlash from people that are renting because they don't respect our neighbor," said one resident.
"I think we need to take this back and be able to control and save our neighborhoods," said Peter, another resident.

The mayor says the city is investigating and does have rules around short term rentals.

"We want to alert anyone out there if you are doing this currently within the boundaries of Millbrae you need to get a business license so we know who is operating with temporary rentals," said Millbrae Mayor Gina Papan, "Public safety is first and foremost in the city of Millbrae, so we are taking this very seriously.'

The mayor says she plans to call a special meeting to address the issue of Air Bnb rentals.

In a statement, AirBnb said in part, "There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date; negative incidents are extremely rare. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and have permanently banned the guest from our platform, reached out to local authorities to offer our assistance, and are in contact with city officials about this situation."

Detectives say they are working with AirBnb to track down the identity of the person who rented the house.