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An unarmed, Black 21-year-old Airbnb guest in San Jose, California was walking to a nearby grocery store when a White neighbor came outside and shot him in what prosecutors called an “unprovoked” attack.
San Jose Mark Waters, 66, has been charged with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in great bodily injury and personal use of a firearm, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Waters was arraigned on Monday, Dec. 12 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
According to a statement from District Attorney Jeff Rosen, the “unprovoked” attack occurred on the night of Oct. 2. The unnamed victim was crossing the street to go to the grocery store when he saw Waters exit a home and quickly approach him while holding a black handgun.
As the victim tried to run away, Waters fired a single shot, which resulted in serious injury to the victim’s leg.
“Everyone should be safe walking to the store,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “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.”
Potential hate crime as Black airbnb guest shot
Law enforcement arrived and provided the victim first aid. Police also obtained video footage of the shooting from a nearby neighbor. They also seized multiple firearms from Waters’ home before arresting and booking him into the county jail.
It’s unclear what motivated the suspect, but when it comes to hate crimes, Black Americans are the most targeted by far, according to the latest FBI data.
“We condemn this vicious and unprovoked attack,” an Airbnb spokesperson said Monday, NBC News reported.
After nearly a hundred years of stalling, Congress finally passed an anti-lynching law earlier this year. Yet many continue to call on the federal government to do more to combat a rise in violence based on race.
In the case of Waters, law enforcement is investigating potential hate crime charges and asks that anyone with information of the shooting contact San Jose Police Detectives Lucas Gaarde and Jessica Lindenberg at (408) 277-4161.