The Airbnb renter sounded pleasant enough — before she arrived, that is.
The guest, who had been verified by Airbnb, was a 19-year-old girl who said she was looking for a nice place for her parents to stay over the weekend in Reno, Nevada. And Sierra Water Gardens, a former boutique garden store transformed into a rental home, seemed perfect.
There was enough room at the two-bedroom house for a handful of people (four visitors was the limit; no parties or events allowed), and it was located right along the Truckee River, not far from downtown Reno, according to the owners of the property.
But at 2:30 a.m. on March 24, the homeowner, Samantha Stremmel, got a call from police saying she should think about coming down to the home — and for good reason: Instead of hosting parents, her rental home was hosting a colossal, bloody rager for underage drinkers.
“[T]here were gunshots and about 60 people in the house,” Stremmel told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “There were 15 police cars there.”
The party had gotten so out of hand, in fact, that 15 of the 18 Reno police cars on patrol early Saturday morning had to be dispatched to the scene, the owners of the home wrote on Facebook.
“When officers arrived, they were unable to find any victims of gunshots but did discover numerous juveniles who were under the influence of alcohol,” police told the newspaper. “Numerous juveniles were cited and released to their parents.”
Police said they initially responded to the address after receiving reports that shots had been fired. No one was injured, KTVN reports.
The owners apologized to their neighbors and to police.
Stremmel added that Airbnb agreed to cover the cost of the damage, including sticky floors coated with trash, dirt and beer, as well as a broken window and hole in the wall, KOLO reports. There was blood on the sheets and the floors of the home as well, the owners told the Gazette-Journal. And in the streets near the house, police found shell casings.
Airbnb said in a statement to KOLO that safety is the company’s top priority.
“There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are extremely rare,” the statement read. “We have permanently banned this guest from our platform, are fully supporting our host while we investigate, and are reaching out to law enforcement to offer our assistance.”
But Stremmel told KOLO that even though she’s satisfied with Airbnb’s help in covering the damage, she’s now more interested in longer-term leases for the home going forward.
“The water gardens will no longer be available for Airbnb or events,” the owners wrote on Facebook after the incident.
Stremmel and her husband have owned Sierra Water Gardens for about seven years, KOLO reports. The couple both lived and worked out of the space for years.
In November, they announced the store was closing but would remain available as an Airbnb rental.
“We did love living here, and I hope other people enjoy staying here and experiencing the street in a different way,” Stremmel told the TV station at the time.