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Police respond to active shooter at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno


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San Bruno police and San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies rushed to YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno Tuesday afternoon in response to an active shooter inside the building.

 

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Several YouTube employees reported on social media hearing gunfire and running for their lives.

 

“Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk,” one employee, Vadim Lavrusik, wrote on Twitter just before 1 p.m. “Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers.”

 

There were no immediate details from authorities other than to confirm that there was an active shooter inside the building at 901 Cherry Avenue. A witness told The Chronicle they saw at least one person with a gunshot wound.

 

“We are responding to an active shooter,” San Bruno police tweeted at 1:28 p.m. “Please stay away from Cherry Ave & Bay Hill Drive.”

 

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The building is being evacuated. Authorities have not confirmed reports of injuries or fatalities, but workers who were in the building described a chaotic scene as people scrambled away from a gunman wearing body armor.

 

“I was in the courtyard and we heard the gunshots then saw him. He had a shooting mask on, full body armor and was calmly walking and firing a handgun,” Salahoden Abdul-Kafi, a YouTube product manager wrote on Facebook. “We jumped to the floor then ran as fast as we could. I'm on my way home now.”

 

Abdul-Kafi said he was OK “but I don't know about a lot of coworkers.”

 

It still wasn’t clear an hour after the first reports came in whether the shooter was still in the building.

 

As helicopters circled overhead, police started taking statements from those who were in the building when the shooting began. Dozens of employees stood near a parking garage across the street from the company’s headquarters. They were on their cell phones, contacting friends and family and recounting what happened.

 

One group of employees — who declined to provide their names because of YouTube’s media policy — said they were sitting at their desks working around 1 pm when they suddenly heard a “pop-pop-pop.”

 

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Woman opens fire at YouTube headquarters, wounding at least 3 before taking her own life

 

 

A woman opened fire at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., wounding at least three people before taking her own life and causing widespread panic in the technology hub south of San Francisco.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters Tuesday afternoon that one person, believed to be the shooter, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At least three other people were taken to area hospitals for medical treatment. Authorities initially said four people were wounded.

 

Officials with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said the hospital had taken in three patients, two women and one man. A 36-year-old man was in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition. None of them has been in surgery.

 

Several YouTube employees sent tweets Tuesday afternoon, saying people were racing out of the company's Cherry Avenue offices shortly after 1 p.m.

 

In a tweet, President Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to everyone involved in the incident Tuesday afternoon.

 

So far authorities do not believe the incident was an act of terrorism and appears instead to have been a case of domestic or workplace violence — although the investigation has just begun.

Witnesses in the area said they saw dozens of firefighters and police officers descending on the area. Other witnesses said they saw police holding rifles and other weapons.

 

The first reports of a shooting came in to San Mateo County dispatchers before 1 p.m., according to recorded traffic posted online by Broadcastify.com.

 

"Shooter. Another party said they spotted someone with a gun. Suspect came from the back patio," the dispatcher said, according to scanner traffic posted online. "Address is 901 Cherry Avenue. … Again we have a report of a subject with a gun, they heard seven or eight shots being fired. This would be from the YouTube building."

 

As the reports began to flood dispatchers, a sergeant was heard on the radio taking the call. He told other officers responding or monitoring the situation "to wear their gear."

 

 
Police scanner audio during reports of an active shooter at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, Calif.
 

Video from the scene showed people holding their hands over their heads as they left the building, which is located in a suburb south of San Francisco. An employee told the Los Angeles Times that three YouTube buildings — 900, 901 and 1000 Cherry Avenue — had been placed on lockdown.

 

Producers from YouTube tweeted that they believed there was an active shooter on the company's campus. Some said they heard so many people running that they believed an earthquake had struck. Others described a gruesome scene.

 

"I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs," Todd Sherman, a YouTube producer, wrote on Twitter. "Peaked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front."

 

Lucacio Simoes, 40, an Uber driver from San Bruno, learned about the shooting from a friend's text message while he was having lunch at the nearby Tanforan shopping center. Simoes said he drove his Ford Explorer toward YouTube headquarters to see if he could help.

 

"There were people running down the street," he said.

 

Simoes said he turned off the Uber app and started to pick up people he passed on the street.

 

"I just opened the door and asked if they needed help. I was getting people away from YouTube. At one point I had seven people in the car. I picked up one man from Sneath Lane and when he got in the car he just started crying. He was in shock."

 

Simoes said he performed at least six such rides Tuesday afternoon.

 

Michelle Tam, a hostess at the Hashes & Brews restaurant about a block away from the company's headquarters, said a swarm of police and fire vehicles drove into the area around 12:45 p.m.

"We see lots cops and firefighters," Tam said. "We can't see any people. It's just a lot of trucks along the street at the moment."

 

Tam said three YouTube employees came into the restaurant appearing visibly shaken.

 

"They came in from a back door," she said. "They sat down at a table. They were in a daze. One guy, there was a little blood on his head."

 

One employee had a partial fragment of a bullet in her shoe, Tam said.

 

At another nearby business, roughly two dozen customers barricaded themselves inside Nueve restaurant around 1 p.m., when authorities told them to "stay far away from YouTube," bartender Carlos Gutierrez told a reporter over the phone.

 

"Is this really happening, or is it a false alarm?" Gutierrez wondered aloud as he and others huddled near the bar.

 

Times staff writers Joseph Serna and Hailey Branson-Potts contributed to this report.

 

UPDATES:

4 p.m.: This article was updated with information from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

3:05 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from President Trump and a witness.

2:40 p.m.: This article was updated with information from San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini.

2:10 p.m.: This article was updated with details from police radio calls.

1:50 p.m.: This article was updated to say that law enforcement sources described the shooter as a woman.

1:35 p.m.: This article was updated with additional comments from the scene.

This article was originally published at 1:20 p.m.

 

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