Gunfire, house party at short-term rental startle N. Austin neighborhood

Gunfire and a house party on East O’Dell Street disturbed the peace and quiet in a north Austin neighborhood early Saturday morning, March 18, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Peace and quiet in a north Austin neighborhood was interrupted overnight by gunshots at a house party.

Austin police said it happened at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday morning at a short-term rental on East O’Dell Street, just off St. Johns Avenue. No one was injured by gunfire, police said.

Neighbors on O’Dell Street were worried, including Ran Miller.

“This is the Highland neighborhood,” he said. “We get some things over here [such as] we had a SWAT situation down the street maybe a month ago.”

At first, he wasn’t really concerned about a party at this house because it hardly happens on his block.

“I think they’re using it as a short-term rental,” he said. “I went to bed. Somewhere — 2:30-ish — I heard shots. I called 911. Then we heard a loud commotion — people screaming and yelling. Running up and down the street. My neighbor started texting me. He had called 911 as well.”

Austin police showed up, and ushered people out of the house.

“They all started walking out one-by-one with their hands up,” Miller said. “They had them all backed up and then they sat them down on the sidewalk.”

But he doesn’t place blame on the owners of the short-term rental property.

“We’ve had no problem from them ever, so that was a bit of a surprise,” he said.

No one was home today when KXAN knocked on the door and it remains unclear who the owner of the property is.

Miller said the woman who often stays there found out about it and has been extremely apologetic to neighbors — even going door to door telling them she is terribly sorry for the trouble.

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