Semiautomatic Shots Fired: Sounded Like A War Zone

Shots rang out in very close proximity to my home at approximately 10:35 PM, on the evening of January 31st. My wife and I heard a series of around fifteen rapid-fire gun reports that sounded like semiautomatic weapons discharge occurring just outside of my home. These reports occurred in rapid succession and extremely loud.

Shortly after the shots were fired, we heard a vehicle drive off to the south. We immediately called 911 to report the incident and were placed on hold for approximately three to five minutes until an operator answered. We described the sound of the gunshots and relayed our location to the operator.

We remained inside our home for approximately ten minutes, and when we heard no more activity outside we went out to look for any evidence of the gunshots. We noticed that there were some young people loitering on the sidewalk opposite a house. We also saw several other people leaving the house and driving off.

The street had over thirty cars parked up and down from the house when it occurred; it appeared that a large party had been going on. A neighbor said she saw over fifty underage teens at that party, and that they were drinking liquor.

After about twenty to thirty minutes, police subsequently responded to the incident and determined that multiple shots were fired across the street from the party house. This home has a history of loud, disruptive parties.

Around ten armed police officers responded to the scene. Numerous young adults were observed leaving the house after the shots were fired. These people drove away from the neighborhood, but we also observed numerous cars and trucks driving by the house, for about another hour.

We spoke with the drivers of a few of the cars and asked them if they were staying as rental guests at the house. All of them replied that they were not. Altogether, we estimate that around fifty cars drove by or were parked in the immediate vicinity of the party house immediately following the gunfire.

I was able to take photographs of several of the passing vehicles’ license plates and all of the vehicles parked on the street. The line of cars ranged around a third of the way down the block from the house in both directions.

One of the drivers who stopped in front of the house said he was looking for “Derik”. He had a heavy accent and he kept pointing to his cell phone, which had the name Derik and what looked like a GPS map displayed with the local neighborhood and the house.

I spoke with several of the people exiting the house and asked them if they were staying at that house. Not a single person I spoke with was actually staying there as a rental guest. They were all apparently there for a party.

Shell casings were found on the ground and the police requested that everyone remain in their homes. The police officers discovered shell casings at the foot of the driveway of my next-door neighbor, whose home sits directly across from the party house. By the shape of these casings, they appeared to have come from an AR-15 or a similar sized rifle.

My wife and I were very disturbed that this type of activity was occurring so close to our home, literally next door. This house has been a source of continually occurring disruption in the neighborhood.

Back on Friday, October 25th, I had heard loud noises coming from the vicinity east of my home. After going outside to investigate on that October night after midnight, I discovered that the noise was coming from the backyard of the home. I had noticed earlier that day that there were numerous cars parked outside of the home, so many that they had impeded traffic on the same street.

After receiving a message from the neighborhood watch block captain whose home sits across from the home, we continued in a discussion that lasted several days, gathering information about the disruptions occurring at that home we dubbed the “party house” due to ongoing unsupervised parties. I had a meeting with officials from the City of Albuquerque following the incident on October 25th but no action was taken because the city coordinator said there were too few police reports.

After the gunshot incident, my wife and I spoke with the neighbors across the street and also with the neighbors further east of them. I telephoned the next-door neighbor of the party house who also hosts an Airbnb rental and asked him if he knew what was going on or if he had heard the shots, but he told me that he was currently out of town.

One of the residents close to the party house captured the weapons report on their doorbell camera. Apparently the sound was close enough and loud enough to activate the ring recorder in the doorbell of the resident who was across the street from where the incident occurred. There were about fifteen shots fired.

The report was extremely loud, rapid-fire shots from what sounded like a semiautomatic weapon. Several neighbors have confirmed this. My wife was in the kitchen of our home only about 30 feet away from where those shots were fired and she was terrified about it. It sounded like a war zone in our neighborhood.

After the police arrived, we found shell casings on the ground which looked like possibly AR-15 or AK-47 casings. The police told us that they would be taking photographs and making an official report about the casings found. We were also concerned that the police took nearly a half an hour to respond to this situation, which was also the case at the Orinda Airbnb slaughter.

As concerned residents of this Albuquerque neighborhood, we believe that the Albuquerque Police Department should have a plan in place to rapidly investigate and contain active shooter incidents more quickly, before many people can be harmed. Also, of additional concern to us as neighborhood residents is the fact that an online police report cannot be made regarding noise complaints or other serious disruptions of peace in the neighborhood or community.

We request that the Albuquerque Police Department create an additional category for online police reports that include incidents such as this. This house where the party was taking place is known as an Airbnb rental that has been a continuing source of irritation for our neighborhood with loud, unsupervised parties.

Despite complaints directly to Airbnb, this home is still listed as an Airbnb rental as of January 31st. We have been in contact with the City of Albuquerque regarding past noise complaints. But this situation is now much more severe. We are only grateful nobody got hurt, but the entire neighborhood got a wake-up call about the party house.

This gunfire incident is extremely disruptive to the peace and safety of our neighborhood, my wife and I request that the city terminate all rentals of the property, which has been the host for these kinds of disruptive parties. The owner of the home is not present to supervise such parties, and our concern is that such parties could get out of hand, as has occurred at other Airbnb parties that were unsupervised, resulting in fatalities.

There are some other neighbors who host guests in their homes as members of Airbnb, but their conduct is respectful, considerate, and non-disruptive. I believe that the party house needs to be closed down and no more rentals allowed.

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One Comment

  1. Why don’t your police deal with it? If it were an owner or long term rental would the police also not respond? Sounds like a problem with them, not with Airbnb. It really has nothing to do with that.

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