California Man Charged In ‘Unprovoked’ Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man Renting AirBnB
A California man was charged with felony assault for allegedly shooting an unarmed Black man who was renting an Airbnb in his neighborhood.
The Santa Clara District Attorney's office identified the accused shooter as 66-year-old Mark Waters, who is white.
He faces a prison sentence if convicted of the “unprovoked attack” that the district attorney said is still under investigation as a possible hate crime.
According to the prosecutor, on Oct. 22, the victim, 21, stepped out of the rental to walk to a nearby grocery store. When he crossed the street, Waters approached him with a semi-automatic gun in hand. Waters fired toward the victim’s back as he tried to run away, hitting him in the leg.
When the police arrived, they rendered first aid to the victim and gathered video evidence of the shooting from a neighbor. Investigators discovered and seized multiple firearms from Waters’ home.
“Everyone should be safe walking to the store,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “We will not tolerate such senseless and violent acts in this County. We wish the victim a speedy recovery and will make sure he receives justice for this brutal assault.”
The Airbnb was located across the street from Waters’ home, local station KGO reported, citing the San Jose Police report of the shooting. The victim suffered a broken femur.
According to the police, Waters called 911 after the shooting.
The report stated that Waters told the police that “the victim walked toward him. He thought that the victim had a gun. He further articulated by saying he saw something black, and he later realized it was a pair of headphones."
Waters then told the police that he wanted an attorney and declined to make further comments, the report stated.
Officers arrested Waters and booked him into county jail. “I can't take it back, what I have done. I have paid the price. I [expletive] up," he told the police at booking, KGO reported.
“We condemn this vicious and unprovoked attack," Airbnb said in a statement sent to BET.com. "We thank the San Jose Police Department as well as the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for their work to hold the perpetrator accountable and to send a message that hate crimes have no place in our society.”
Waters was released on bail.