A woman shot and injured at least three people before killing herself at Google’s YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, police said.
San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said three victims were transported to local hospitals Tuesday afternoon. The woman found at the scene appeared to be dead of “a self-inflicted” gunshot wound, he said. No motive was given for the shooting.
Sepand Parhami, a YouTube software engineer, said he was having lunch on an outside patio when he heard shots and saw what looked to be a woman moving from a garage to the lobby of the building. He scrambled for the door and went inside as the woman started shooting, he said in an interview after the incident.
Police said they received multiple emergency calls beginning at 12:46 p.m. local time. Two minutes later officers arrived on the scene and encountered people escaping from the building. They began a search and found someone with gunshot wounds, according to Barberini.
As the search continued they found a second person, a female, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound. Police then found two more people with gunshot wounds, he said.
Zach Vorhies, a YouTube software engineer, said he saw a man on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound to the stomach.
The victim was a heavyset man lying in the courtyard outside the building, Vorhies said in an interview. Vorhies said he then saw a police officer coming in with an assault rifle and ran out of the building through a rear exit.
Vadim Lavrusik, a product manager at YouTube, wrote earlier on Twitter that he and coworkers were barricaded inside a room at the 901 Cherry Ave. headquarters, before later tweeting “Safe. Got evacuated. Outside now.”
“Our security team has been working closely with authorities to evacuate the buildings and ensure the safety of employees in the area,” Alphabet Inc.’s Google said in a statement. “We advised all other employees in the Bay Area, and people with meetings scheduled, to stay away from the area, and that there is no need to take any action. We have provided employees a helpline.”
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, which has the city’s major trauma center, said they were treating three patients from the incident: a 36-year-old man in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition.
The patients had multiple injuries, Andre Campbell, a hospital surgeon, told reporters. Campbell declined to specify the type of gunshot wounds suffered by the victims.
“Gun violence happens here everyday,” Campbell said. “We have a serious problem that we need to address. This is a real problem.”
The Stanford Health Care Center, which had been told to prepare for patients from the shooting, didn’t receive any victims to treat, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene. U.S. President Donald Trump, in a tweet, said he was briefed on the shooting and offered his “thoughts and prayers” for everyone involved.
San Bruno is a city 11 miles south of downtown San Francisco which is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport. The city has been the home of YouTube, the world’s largest online video site, for more than a decade. It’s the northern border of Silicon Valley and is also home to a major Walmart e-commerce office.
As the incident started, a Google employee at a nearby complex to the YouTube office said several police sirens were heard around the office and colleagues inside of the building were texting them updates. Videos and photos posted to Snapchat showed police officers running into the YouTube offices.
People were also seen evacuating the offices in a line with their hands up in the air, according to the videos. Television reports showed police officers patting down people who had left the building to check for weapons.
Across the nation, the gun control debate has gained increasing attention from voters and legislators in the wake of the February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Congress recently bolstered the federal background check system for gun purchases as part of a larger spending bill and an additional report clarified that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could study the causes of gun violence. Additional measures have been passed at the state level.
An FBI study of active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013 found that only six such cases, or 3.8 percent, involved a female shooter. Among the 160 shootings the study focused on, 23 occurred in business environments, and in 22 of those, the shooter worked for or had worked for the company targeted.
Two of those shooters were women. In 40 percent of the total incidents studied, the shooter committed suicide.