North Side mass shooting victim sues Airbnb and apartment owner
An alleged victim of a mass shooting at a North Side apartment has sued the landlord and rental platform Airbnb for allowing an unruly gathering that ended with a gunman spraying bullets inside the building and in the surrounding streets.
According to the complaint, plaintiff Tyriale Neal arrived at the April 17 party on Madison Avenue in Deutschtown around 12:30 p.m. and attempted to flee soon after in response to the gunfire.
Neal, described as an adult, “was hit by at least one bullet” which left her with a shattered right femur, a dislocated hip, scars, as well as emotional and psychological damage, according to the complaint.
“It is believed and therefore proven that before this incident [Airbnb and property owners 900 North Group] were aware of preventative measures that could have been taken to limit the likelihood of parties occurring at the premises they advertise on their platform, and/or prevent parties from occurring at the premises they advertise on their platform “, he continues.
The complaint references prior documented shootings at Airbnbs across the country — including another in Pittsburgh in 2019 that reportedly killed two people — that contributed to the adoption of “anti-party” policies.
These include measures such as banning one-night bookings, limiting two-night bookings to tenants with good user records, and banning local and last-minute bookings.
But the filing maintains that 900 North Group and Airbnb failed to implement those practices during the April 17 incident, and are therefore responsible for the carnage that followed.
Two teenagers were killed during the rally, and several others were injured. Around 200 people are believed to have attended the party, and multiple videos posted of the incident on social media show a large, dense crowd of what appear to be mostly underage attendees screaming and trying to get out of the house as gunshots fire are heard in the background.
Airbnb tells Pittsburgh City Paper that society”strictly prohibits parties, and we condemn the conduct that allegedly led to this criminal gun violence. The customer who booked was issued a lifetime ban from Airbnb and we will consider all legal options to hold that person accountable.”
The Airbnb rep adds that they have reached out to Mayor Gainey and the Pittsburgh Police Department “to offer our support in their investigations, and we hope those responsible for this bloodshed are found quickly.”
The tenant was not identified in the lawsuit and representatives for 900 North Group could not be reached for comment.
TO UPDATE: This story was updated at 2:35 p.m. on July 29 to add a statement from Airbnb.