PITTSBURGH — When Gary Thynes moved into his new apartment in November, he didn’t know about the mass shooting that happened there just six months earlier.
“I found out in the process of applying for the place,” Thynes said. “It didn’t deter me at all from moving into the building.”
The shooting happened at a home on Suismon Street on Pittsburgh’s North Side. At the time, it was an AirBnb short-term rental.
Police said there was a party with more than 200 people in the home, many of them underage.
Two teenagers were killed — Jaiden Brown and Matthew Steffy-Ross. Both were 17 years old.
“It was a horrible day for everyone who was involved with it,” Thynes said. “They need to get some regulations for it, absolutely.”
Bobby Wilson, the councilman who represents the city’s North Side, is fighting to get regulations passed.
In the days after the shooting, he proposed a requirement for property owners to license their Airbnbs and other short-term rental properties.
Wilson said that proposal would prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.
But, it’s been stuck in limbo for nearly a full year. Part of the reason is that a related piece of legislation was struck down by the courts.
In a statement to Channel 11 Sunday, Wilson said, “The commonwealth court’s recent and unexpected ruling against the city’s proposed rental registry program has also pushed us back to the drawing board on creating a short-term rental registry ordinance. We do not want to pass an ordinance that will waste our lawyers’ valuable time in court and may well get struck down because it resembles the prior rental registry ordinance.”
Thynes said he’s lived on the North Side for six years.
He said the neighborhood is mostly quiet and safe. But, he wants to see the city take action.
“Two 17-year-old boys lost their lives. The city needs to put some effort into making something like this happen,” Thynes said.
Wilson asked the city council to put a three-month hold on his proposal to allow his office and other city officials to revise it to withstand any legal challenges.
No arrests have been made in this case. Channel 11 asked Pittsburgh Police if there are any updates, but did not hear back on Sunday.
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