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Black Airbnb guest shot while walking to grocery store, officials say

Mark Waters, 66, was charged with felony assault with a firearm in the Oct. 2 shooting in San Jose, California, and officials are investigating potential hate crime allegations, prosecutors said.

A California man has been charged with felony assault, accused of shooting a Black man renting a nearby Airbnb property as he walked to a grocery store, in what prosecutors called an “unprovoked attack.”

Mark Waters, 66, was charged with felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm resulting in great bodily injury and personal use of a firearm, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office announced Friday, two months after the Oct. 2 shooting in San Jose.

Further charges may come, as law enforcement is investigating potential hate crime allegations.

The 21-year-old victim had left his Airbnb rental to walk to a nearby grocery store on the night of the shooting, prosecutors said. He was unarmed.

When he crossed the street, he saw Waters exit a home and “quickly approach him while holding a black handgun,” the district attorney’s office said. 

The victim tried to run to safety, but prosecutors alleged that Waters, whom they described as white, fired a single gunshot as his back was turned. As a result, the victim suffered “serious injuries” to his leg, they said. 

Police rendered first aid to the victim. Video of the shooting was also obtained from a nearby neighbor, prosecutors said.

Waters’ home was searched, and multiple firearms were seized, prosecutors said. He was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail and will be arraigned Monday in San Jose.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen condemned the shooting, saying: “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,” Rosen added.

NBC News has asked the San Jose Police Department and an attorney listed for Waters for comment.

An Airbnb spokesperson said Monday: “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,” Airbnb's statement said.