Two people were shot, one fatally, when a man was carrying food out of a 1-year-old’s birthday party at a Florida Airbnb, the sheriff’s office said.
A family from Orlando rented the Davenport property to host a gathering of family and friends Sept. 9 for the birthday of a 1-year-old, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a Sept. 11 news conference.
The family came to the property on the night of Sept. 8 and worked all through the morning the next day to set up for the gathering, Judd said. The party started later that day, at about 3 p.m.
Hours into the party, one of the attendees, 27, started to receive multiple phone calls, the sheriff said.
An hour and a half later, Judd said he walked outside the home with two plates of food that deputies believe were intended for the occupants of a vehicle parked outside the home.
The man gave the food to those inside the vehicle before a “volley of gunshots” rang out, knocking the man down with gunfire, Judd said.
The man was able to get up and start heading back to the house, according to the sheriff.
The people in the vehicle had started to drive off, but they backed the car up to the house when they saw him get up again, Judd said.
One of the people in the vehicle then jumped out and started to shoot at the man again, according to the sheriff. A woman who was inside the home also was struck through the front door, Judd said.
The woman, 26, had run to the door after hearing the first round of gunshots, Judd said.
The person then jumped back into the vehicle, and it sped away as the woman opened the front door of the Airbnb, the sheriff said. Partygoers pulled the man into the home, and he had multiple gunshot wounds, according to the sheriff.
The man died from his injuries, but the woman is expected to fully recover after being shot in the thigh, Judd said.
The sheriff said there was nearby surveillance footage that showed the vehicle fleeing the house, but the suspects had not yet been captured or identified as of Sept. 11.
At the entrance to the neighborhood, deputies found the two plates of food discarded on the side of the road, Judd said.
A spokesperson for Airbnb told McClatchy News in an email the party was unauthorized by the Airbnb host, and the host had not consented to a party being held at their home.
“Our deepest condolences go out to all who were impacted by this senseless violence. We are investigating this incident, and have also reached out to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to offer our support with their investigation,” the spokesperson said in the statement.
Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that may help identify and capture the shooters, according to the sheriff’s office.
Davenport is about 35 miles southwest of Orlando.