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White Man Charged for Shooting Black Airbnb Renter Walking to Store for Noodles and Juice

A Northern California senior citizen is back in jail after a judge revoked his bail for charges of felony assault for shooting a Black renter of an Airbnb room in his San Jose neighborhood as the victim was walking to a grocery store.

Prosecutors are investigating to see if race played a part in the incident, and, if so, considering elevating the “unprovoked attack” to a hate crime.

Mark Waters, 66, was arraigned on Dec. 12 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on charges that he shot and injured a 21-year-old Black man on the night of Oct. 2.

Man shot walking to store
A 21-year-old man was shot while walking to the store from an Airbnb room he was renting in San Jose, California. (Photo: YouTube screenshot/ABC7 News Bay Area)

Waters shot the unarmed victim as he left an Airbnb property he was renting across the street to pick up some groceries from a local market.

“As the victim crossed the street, he saw Waters exit a home and quickly approach him while holding a black handgun. The victim attempted to run to safety, but Waters shot him while his back was turned. Waters fired a single gunshot which resulted in serious injuries to the victim’s leg,” the prosecutor wrote in a release.

At the arraignment, Waters was remanded into the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office custody after pleading not guilty to assault with a firearm for reportedly using .40-caliber handgun in the shooting. The judge in the case ruled that Waters is a danger to the community and ordered him held without bond, local station ABC 7 reported.

The Santa Clara Country District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday, Dec. 9, that Waters was charged with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in great bodily injury and personal use of a firearm in the attack.

Local police were called to the scene by Waters after the shooting, according to ABC 7, which further describes what the police report says he told officers when they arrived:

“The victim walked toward him. He thought that the victim had a gun. He further articulated by saying he saw something black, and he later realized it was a pair of headphones.”

An investigation into the shooting discovered not only was the incident “unprovoked,” but officers were able to obtain “video footage of the shooting from a nearby neighbor.”

Police reported that the victim said, “he was going to Safeway to get some Udon noodles and juice.”

The police also searched Waters’ home and seized multiple firearms, before arresting him and booking him into the county jail. Waters had been a burglary victim in the days before the shooting, and, without evidence, he seemingly settled on the man he shot as his suspect.

“Everyone should be safe walking to the store. 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,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

Airbnb released a statement condemning what a spokesperson called a “vicious and unprovoked 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 and to send a message that hate crimes have no place in our society,” it reads.

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