Gunshots, home ‘destroyed’ at 2 short-term rentals since Thursday
By Rachel Rice and Tony Plohetski
19 March 2017
• Gunshots were reported at a North Austin short-term rental Saturday,
but no one was struck, police said.
• Last week, local author and chef Georgia Pellegrini said her home was
‘destroyed’ by short-term renters.
Austin police are investigating an early Saturday incident at a
short-term rental property in which they say multiple gunshots were
fired and several people were injured while trying to flee.
The incident came a few days after a well-known local author and chef
reported that her East Austin home was “destroyed” by short-term
Austin police Lt. Ken Hobbs said officers responded to multiple reports
of shots fired about 2:45 a.m. Saturday at a short-term rental property
in the 100 block of East Odell Street just west of Interstate 35.
Officers found multiple people injured while attempting to flee, though
no gunshot wounds were reported. Other injured people went to the
hospital themselves, Hobbs said.
The nature and extent of their injuries weren’t immediately known.
Hobbs said no one has been detained, but police received a brief
description of the shooting suspect. The investigation is ongoing,
On Friday, author Georgia Pellegrini said on social media that an
Airbnb renter “destroyed my home” in the 1700 block of Giles Street the
“They had weapons and drugs and shots were fired as police arrived,”
she wrote on Twitter. “25 casings found.”
She added: “There were drugs. Everything I own is ruined.”
Pellegrini, an adventurer with a large social media following who has
been featured in several publications including the Wall Street Journal
and the American-Statesman, has since deleted the tweets about the
incident. She could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Last week, Instagram user Kreamsd announced he was co-hosting a “SXSW
loft party” Thursday night at Pellegrini’s address. The post said the
event had a $10 charge but was free for women and invited people to
bring their own drinks. Kreamsd did not respond Sunday to requests for
Neighbors on Giles Street said they heard gunshots early Friday and saw
droves of revelers running away from the noise. Mark Szmania, a Houston
resident staying with relatives on Giles Street, said the people were
still loitering on the street around 3 a.m. “finishing drinks.”
Hobbs said the incidents at Odell and Giles streets do not appear to be
related. He did not provide any additional details on the Giles Street
Last year, the city of Austin voted to phase out some types of
short-term rentals after more than a year of debate largely between
homeowners irritated about loud parties in their neighborhoods and
renters who argued that most short-term rentals were operated
responsibly. Short-term rentals within the city must be licensed and
can house a maximum of 10 people at a time.
Some homeowners have argued that problems persist and that code
enforcement officers generally aren’t present when disturbances take
Bills have been filed with the state Legislature that would limit the
power of cities to regulate short-term rentals, bringing city officials
before legislative committees to testify last week.