OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A Topeka, Kansas man was charged Monday with a fatal shooting over the weekend at an Overland Park home that was used as a short-term rental.
Anthony Duane Smith has been charged with second degree murder in Johnson County, Kansas.
The charge comes after Sharell Holoman of Wichita, Kansas, was shot at a party at a house near 145th Terrace and Knox Street and later died in hospital. This is Overland Park’s first homicide of the year.
Police said the house where the shooting happened was rented out for a vacation. Neighbors said they saw car after car arriving that night with loud music playing until the wee hours of the morning.
Charging documents further detailing the allegations against Smith have not been released. Smith’s bail was set at $500,000 cash/bail.
Postpone vacation rentals
Neighbors are now advocating to ban short-term rental properties in their community. They said they were taking their concerns to the homeowners association.
Calls from neighbors do not fall on deaf ears. The chairman of the board of directors of the owners’ association also said he was ready to act.
This is not the first time the house has been the focus of an investigation. This has been a concern for neighbors, and it’s not the only vacation rental in the neighborhood.
“Everything we had counted on to make this place very safe is no longer happening,” said Edith Downing, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 16 years.
The same goes for other neighbors, especially those with children running and playing around the neighborhood.
“We have teenagers, children, young children running around the neighborhood. It’s supposed to be a really safe neighborhood. Now I don’t feel comfortable for my children,” a neighbor said.
The short-term rental house has been more than a concern for many neighbors.
“It’s definitely not the first time I’ve heard complaints about Airbnb due to nature with so many different people driving through the neighborhood and staying there for a few days,” said Chris McGuyer, president of the Brookhighland Homeowner’s Association. .
McGuyer said as he drove home on Saturday, he saw more than nine cars outside the house. Neighbors said the house had loud music until 3 or 4 in the morning. It’s even more disturbing now that someone is dead.
“It scares me because just the thought of someone shooting, and that bullet can travel anywhere,” McGuyer said.
Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog issued the following statement Monday afternoon:
“Safe neighborhoods are a key component of Overland Park’s high quality of life. The issues associated with the growing trend of landlords using their properties as short-term rentals have attracted attention and been the subject of discussion among Overland Park City Council members for some time.
“It is time to move this complicated subject forward. I will schedule a discussion with City Council on the subject as soon as our meeting schedule permits.
“Short-term rental operators need to be mindful of their neighbors and the community, and we need to ensure that our residential neighborhoods continue to be safe and welcoming.”
Regardless of what the city council does, the residents of this neighborhood are not alone in this fight. McGuyer said not only did he understand; he also wants to see change.
“You never want to think someone’s going to get killed, but it really highlighted the idea of what can happen when you have these short-term rentals near you.”
McGuyer wants his neighbors to know he’s already started the process to say goodbye to them forever.
“We are looking very seriously at what can be done here, so our hope over the next few weeks is to implement what we are able to do through the attorney and get some bylaw changes,” did he declare.
His message to the homeowner is simple: “Do you want this to happen where you currently live?”
“Think about the people who live here and what they have to deal with, and in reality where they live now, what isn’t here. Would you like that right next to you? said McGuyer.
FOX4 contacted the owner himself. He did not return our calls.