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Man who posted Downtown San Diego hotel shooting rehearsal video pleads guilty

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 17:15:16-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Spring Valley man who drew law enforcement attention for posting YouTube videos that appeared to show him rehearsing a mass shooting inside a downtown San Diego hotel room pleaded guilty Thursday to felony assault weapon possession and child abuse charges.

Steve Homoki, who faces up to three years in state prison, admitted unlawfully possessing an assault rifle and having loaded firearms in the presence of his children, and also pleaded guilty to embezzlement and grand theft charges in an unrelated case.

Sentencing is slated for March 25.


Homoki, 32, was arrested in late 2019, after the FBI received a tip regarding a pair of YouTube videos recorded at the Sofia Hotel.

The videos, which were apparently filmed with a body camera, feature a first-person perspective of a man loading and aiming guns out a window at people walking along the streets below his hotel room.

In one video, he takes aim at a person walking outside, pulls the trigger -- to no effect -- and says, "One down, more to go."

The videos were filmed in March 2019 and posted online about six months later.

Homoki was arrested shortly after authorities received the anonymous tip that December, though he was not charged in relation to the videos. At his arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick said the content in the videos was not necessarily illegal, but spoke to the danger Homoki posed.

In a gun violence restraining order petition filed in late 2019, the person who provided the tip to police reported noticing Homoki "slowly become less stable over the period of almost an entire year."

The tipster believed Homoki had "gone off the deep end" and was worried that he "is planning something or already has a plan," according to court documents.

In a 2019 jailhouse interview with CBS 8, Homoki did not offer a clear explanation of what the videos were intended to achieve, but described them as part of an "art project." He repeated several times that he did not intend to harm anyone and was merely expressing his First Amendment rights by making the videos, which he said were never meant to be seen by the general public and had been "blown out of proportion."