A California man is facing felony charges for allegedly shooting a 21-year-old unarmed Black man who was walking to the grocery store from an Airbnb rental in what officials are describing as an "unprovoked attack."
The victim was crossing the street in the 1200 block of Somerset Drive around 11:08 p.m. on Oct. 2 when he saw the suspect, later identified as 66-year-old Mark Waters, exit a home and "quickly approach him" while holding a handgun, according to San Jose police and the Santa Clara County district attorney's office. The victim tried to run away, but as his back was turned, Waters fired his weapon, striking the young man in the leg, prosecutors said.
Officers who responded to the shooting provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, a San Jose police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
During a search of Waters's home, police seized eight firearms registered to him, along with ammunition and other items, authorities said. Waters was arrested at the scene; however, as of Friday, he was no longer in custody, according to the DA's office.
Waters was ultimately charged last month with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in great bodily injury and personal use of a firearm in connection with the shooting, prosecutors said. He is due to be arraigned on the charges in San Jose on Monday.
“Everyone should be safe walking to the store,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement announcing the charges Friday. “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.”
Authorities are also investigating potential hate crime allegations, but officials declined to provide additional information or a possible motive for the shooting, saying the case is still under investigation.
Waters's attorney, Jose Badillo, said in an email on Friday that he had no immediate comment on the case.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for Airbnb condemned the attack.
"We thank the San Jose Police Department as well as the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for their work to hold the perpetrator accountable," the spokesperson said, "and to send a message that hate crimes have no place in our society."