100 Shots Fired Between Downtown St. Louis Rentals

It's not the first shooting at a downtown short-term rental this year

click to enlarge Short-term renters fired up to 100 shots at each other Wednesday morning. - Paul Sableman VIA FLICKR
Paul Sableman VIA FLICKR
Short-term renters fired up to 100 shots at each other Wednesday morning.

Nearly 100 shots were fired during a shootout between short-term renters early Wednesday morning, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Around 1 a.m. in the Downtown West neighborhood, an argument broke out between parties staying on the 1900 block of Washington Avenue and on the 400 block of North 20th Street.

Shortly after, a nearby resident told KSDK that they'd heard shots similar to “machine fire” for two to three minutes.
Initially, witnesses stated to police that the shooting took place between separate Airbnb renters. They have since clarified their statement to say that the shooting took place between "short-term rentals."

An Airbnb spokesperson confirmed to RFT there are no active or recent reservations at either property on 1920 Washington or 411 N. 20th Street.

Two people were injured, according to the police's incident report.

The police noted that they arrested two suspects and seized “a large quantity” of narcotics and firearms in one of the rental units.

This is the most recent incident in a slew of deadly shootings this year at short-term rental units in the downtown area.

In early March, a 16-year-old was shot and killed in the Ely Walker Lofts. A few weeks later, two teenagers were killed at a birthday party at Cupples Station Loft Apartments. Both were thought to happen at short-term rentals.

During the police department's weekly crime update on Wednesday morning, Lieutenant Angela Dickerson said she doesn’t believe there’s an “ongoing problem” with violence in downtown-area short-term rental units. Police spokeswoman Evita Caldwell said the violence stems from a few “bad actors" who are "doing things they aren’t supposed to do or doing things they are not disclosing to [short-term rental] owners.”

In March, LaShana Lewis, chair of the St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association, told KMOV that the area was looking into restrictions on downtown rentals.

“Given recent events ... people seem to be now making sure that we have some sort of wrap-around [for] requirements for having [short-term rentals], especially in downtown,” Lewis said.

This story has been updated to remove all references to Airbnb on July 21 at 11:57 a.m.

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