ORINDA, Calif. - Four people were killed and others were injured at an "Airbnb Mansion" Halloween party in Orinda. The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office said Firday that there are no suspects in custody.
The shooting was reported at 10:45 p.m. Thursday on the 100 block of Lucille Way near Knickerbocker Lane, not too far from Highway 24, according to sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee. The street is narrow and winding, lined with multimillion dollar homes. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, Lee said, and the fourth died at a hospital. An unknown number of other victims were taken to various hospitals; some were taken by ambulance and others drove themselves, Lee said.
Before noon, Romond Reynolds, the father of one of the surviving shooting victims, Armani, came to Orinda to get his son's car. He said his 24-year-old son from Vallejo was shot three to four times and is under sedation at the hospital.
"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Reynolds said. "I don't like it. I don't understand."
Sources told KTVU that the Airbnb renter falsely claimed that she needed to escape the smoke from the Kincade Fire because of asthma and duped the homeowner.
Property records list the owner of 114 Lucille Way as Michael Young Wang, with an associated 2005 purchase price of $1.25 million. The home spans 3,972 feet. Multiple residents told the East Bay Times he never appeared to move in or live there; records show that Wang’s main home is in Concord. Wang told the San Francisco Chronicle that the renter said she was from Lafayette and wanted to host a family reunion for a dozen people.
A neighbor said he talked to the owner of the home, who told him it was being rented out through Airbnb for a private party. The neighbor said that particular house has been the scene of other parties that "sometimes get out of hand." Lee said there were more than 100 guests at the party.
Ben Breit, Airbnb's head of trust and safety, issued this statement: "We are horrified by this tragedy and are in close communication with Chief David Cook of Orinda Police to offer our support with his investigation into who committed this senseless violence. Additionally, we have taken action to ban the booking guest from our platform. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims of this abhorrent act as well as the neighbors of the home."
The party was unauthorized by the host, and the home's listing specifically stated that parties were banned. The home has been removed from Airbnb's platform during the investigation. The homeowners also forbid smoking, weed or weapons in their rentals.
A now-deleted Instagram post, boasted an “AirBNB mansion party” in Orinda. Guests were told to direct message someone named @tonecapone300 for the address. The flier also said to “BYOB” and “BYOW.” Doors would open at 10 p.m., according to the post.
Hayden Aitchison, who lives in Orinda and is a senior at Miramonte High School, said she heard the party got "really chaotic. There was a lot of yelling and then shots were fired." At first, she said, she heard everyone was "having fun, doing their own thing. Then suddenly it turned south. My friends are OK but they are mourning the loss of the other people."
A now-deleted Instagram post advertising an Airbnb "Mansion Party" in Orinda.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said he saw what appeared to be 30 to 50 people leaving the party, running down the hillside to escape the gunfire. He saw many trying to hail Ubers to get home. He heard five gunshots that startled him and then he saw police cars "flying up the hill."
Chris Bade, who lives nearby, said after the neighbors heard the shots, "pretty much everybody locked their doors. Usually, there are wonderful people staying there. Nothing like this has ever happened."
A multi-agency response team showed up in force. Search and rescue crews, firefighters and law enforcement from neighboring cities rushed in to investigate. The F.B.I. is also assisting in the investigation.
Orinda is a quiet, affluent city, population 17,000, ranked the second-most friendly town in America by Forbes in 2012. It was recently the home to Steph and Ayesha Curry, before they moved to Walnut Creek and then the Peninsula. Schools are great and homicides are rare. Police were not immediately available to state when the last homicide in Orinda occurred, but it may be the first since 2012, when a woman was killed by her housemate on Moraga Way. And the most recent homicide before that was in 2002, when Susan Polk fatally stabbed her husband, Felix, who had been her therapist when she was a teenager.
The shooting was in the 100 block of Lucille Way in Orinda.
Neighbor Dan Weiner said the neighborhoood is quiet and peaceful. "This is the last place I would expect something like this to happen."
Bade agreed. "Everybody moved to Orinda for the same reason. We want the quiet."
But another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the neighborhood has changed in the last 10 years.
"A lot of people know each other," she said. "But there's been a lot of rentals along the street."
Inga Miller, the Mayor of Orinda, said the city council would address concerns surrounding short-term rentals in the city at the council meeting on Tuesday.
Anyone with any information on this case should contact the Orinda Police Department or Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441. The Investigation Division can be reached at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
Orinda police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office are looking for who killed four people at a Halloween party. Oct. 31, 2019
One neighbor said he saw about 30-50 people leaving, many of them trying to leave in Ubers. Oct. 31, 2019
The shooting was reported just before 11 p.m. on Thursday on Lucille Way near Knickerbocker Lane, not too far from Highway 24. Oct. 31, 2019