OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A Topeka, Kansas, man has been charged Monday in a deadly shooting over the weekend at an Overland Park home that was being 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 during a party at a home near 145th Terrace and Knox Street and later died at the hospital. It’s the first homicide of the year so far for Overland Park.
Police said the home where the shooting occurred was being rented for vacation use. Neighbors said they saw car after car pulling in that night with loud music playing into the early morning hours.
Charging documents further detailing the allegations against Smith have not been released. Smith’s bond has been set at $500,000 cash/surety.
Push back on vacation rentals
Neighbors are now pleading to ban short-term rental properties in their community. They said they’re taking their concerns to the homeowner’s association.
Neighbors’ pleas aren’t falling on deaf ears. The president of the homeowner’s association board said he, too, is ready to take action.
This isn’t the first time the home has been at the center of an investigation. That’s been a concern for neighbors, and it’s not the only vacation rental in the neighborhood.
“Anything we had counted on in terms of this being a very safe place just isn’t happening anymore,” said Edith Downing, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 16 years.
The same is true for other neighbors, especially those that have kids who run and play in the neighborhood.
“We have teenagers, kids, young kids running around in the neighborhood. This is supposed to be a really safe neighborhood. Now I don’t feel comfortable for my kids,” one neighbor said.
The short-term rental home has been more than a cause for concern for many neighbors.
“It’s certainly not the first time I’ve heard of complaints about the Airbnb because the nature with so many different people rolling through the neighborhood and staying there for a few days,” said Chris McGuyer, the president of the Brookhighland Homeowner’s Association.
McGuyer said when he came home Saturday, he saw more than nine cars outside the home. Neighbors said the house had loud music going until 3 or 4 in the morning. It’s even more concerning, now that someone is dead.
“It’s scares me because just thinking about somebody shooting, and that bullet can travel anywhere,” McGuyer said.
Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog released the following statement Monday afternoon:
“Safe neighborhoods are a key component of Overland Park’s high quality of life. Issues associated with the growing trend of homeowners utilizing their properties as short term rentals have come to the attention and been a topic of discussion among Overland Park City Council members for some time.
“It is time to move this complicated topic forward. I will be scheduling a discussion with the City Council on the topic at the earliest time our meeting schedule will allow.
“Short term rental operators need to be considerate of their neighbors and the community, and we need to ensure our residential neighborhoods continue to be safe and welcoming.”
Regardless of what the city council does, residents in this neighborhood aren’t alone in this fight. McGuyer said not only does he understand; he also wants to see the change as well.
“You never want to think someone is going to get killed, but this really highlighted the idea of what can happen when you have these short-term rentals near you.”
McGuyer wants his neighbors to know he has already started the process to say goodbye to these forever.
“We are taking a very serious look 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 lawyer and get changes made to the bylaws,” he said.
His message to the owner of the home is simple: “Would you want this to happen where you now live?”
“Think of the people that live around here and what they are having to deal with, and in reality, where they’re living now, which is not here. Would you want that right next door to you?” said McGuyer.
FOX4 reached out to the homeowner himself. He has not returned our calls.