San Jose man allegedly shot an unarmed black Airbnb guest on his way to the grocery store

San Jose Police Department

A California man is facing felony charges for allegedly shooting an unarmed 21-year-old black man who was walking to the grocery store from an Airbnb rental in what officials describe as an “unprovoked attack.”

The victim was cross the street in the 1200 block of Somerset Drive at around 11:08 p.m. on October 2 when he saw the suspect, later identified as 66-year-old Mark Waters, come out of a house and “quickly approach him” while holding a handgun, according to San Jose Police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The victim tried to flee, but with his back turned, Waters fired his gun, hitting the young man in the leg, prosecutors said.

Officers responding to the shooting provided medical aid to the victim, who was later transported to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, a San Jose police spokesperson told BuzzFeedNews.

During a search of Waters’ home, police seized eight firearms registered to his name, along with ammunition and other items, authorities said. Waters was arrested at the scene; however, as of Friday he was no longer in custody, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Waters was eventually charged last month with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in grievous bodily harm and personal use of a firearm in connection with the shooting, prosecutors said. He is due in court Monday in San Jose.

“Everyone should walk safely to the store,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement announcing the charges Friday. “We will not tolerate such senseless and violent acts in this county. We wish the victim a speedy recovery and will ensure that he receives justice for this brutal assault.

Authorities are also investigating possible hate crime allegations, but officials declined to provide additional information or a possible motive for the shooting, saying the matter was still under investigation.

Waters’ attorney, Jose Badillo, said in an email Friday that he had no immediate comment on the case.

In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, an Airbnb spokesperson condemned the attack.

“We thank the San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for their work in holding the perpetrator accountable,” the spokesperson said, “and sending a message that the crimes hate have no place in our society”.

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