Airbnb says it will pay for funerals in Halloween shooting

ORINDA, Calif. — Airbnb says it will pay funeral expenses for the five victims killed in a Halloween shooting at one of its rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reports the company said Thursday it will also cover counseling bills for their families.

The decision comes after a victim's lawyer, Jesse Danoff, blasted the company's comments after the massacre at one of its rental properties, saying Airbnb "responded in public with platitudes and thoughts and prayers."

Airbnb's CEO previously said the firm was cracking down on unauthorized parties in the wake of the shooting, which sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives.

In a series of tweets Nov. 2, Brian Chesky said the San Francisco-based company is expanding manual screening of "high risk" reservations and will remove guests who fail to comply with policies banning parties at rental homes.

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He also said the company is forming a "rapid response team" when complaints of unauthorized parties come in.

"We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable," he tweeted.

Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies investigate shooting deaths at an Airbnb mansion party in Orinda, Calif. (Ray Chavez/East Bay Times via AP)

The four-bedroom home where the slayings occurred had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, a person with knowledge of the transaction told The Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Orinda earlier in the week fouled the air over a wide area.

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The owner was suspicious of a one-night rental on Halloween and before agreeing reminded the renter that no parties were allowed, said the person, who was not authorized to publicly disclose the information and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The party was advertised on social media as an "Airbnb mansion party."

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The owner, Michael Wang, said his wife reached out to the renter Thursday night after neighbors contacted them about the event. The renter said there were only a dozen people at the home but Wang said he could see more people on video from his doorbell camera.

"We called the police. They were on the way to go there to stop them, but before we got there the neighbor already sent us a message saying there was a shooting," he told the Chronicle.