The suspect allegedly said he thought the victim had a gun … but “later realized it was a pair of headphones.”
A white, 66-year-old San Jose, California man has been charged with felony assault after he allegedly shot an unarmed Black man in what the District Attorney’s Office is calling an “unprovoked attack.”
The incident went down on October 2, 2022, when an unidentified 21-year-old Black man renting an Airbnb in San Jose was allegedly shot by a neighbor, identified by authorities as Mark Waters, while walking to the grocery store.
According to a release from the County of Santa Clara DA, “as the victim crossed the street, he saw Waters exit a home and quickly approach him while holding a black handgun.” The release says, “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.”
Video of the shooting was obtained by a nearby neighbor, before Waters was arrested and charged with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in great bodily injury and personal use of a firearm.
The DA said law enforcement is investigating potential hate crime allegations — adding, “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.”
So far, both Waters and his attorney have declined to comment on the case. According to the police report, the suspect told authorities he thought the victim had a gun … but “later realized it was a pair of headphones.” During booking, he also reportedly said, “I can’t take it back, what I have done. I have paid the price. I f—ed up.”
A rep for Airbnb, meanwhile, released the following statement: “We condemn this 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.”
His arraignment is scheduled for Monday, December 12.