Suspect Dead In Shooting At YouTube Headquarters

Apr 3, 2018
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Police say a woman opened fire at YouTube's offices in San Bruno, Calif., around lunchtime today. She is dead, police say from a self-inflicted wound. Three people were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. Sam Harnett of member station KQED has been covering this. He joins us now from outside YouTube's offices. And, Sam, we know that San Bruno police actually gave an update a little while ago. What have they said about what happened?

SAM HARNETT, BYLINE: Well, the update didn't have much more information than what we already know. There's - three victims who are wounded are at the hospital. The suspect, a woman, is dead from a self-inflicted wound. And the police said there won't be any more updates today. Maybe we'll know a little more tomorrow.

CORNISH: When it comes to a possible motive, did they say anything, or did they rule anything out?

HARNETT: No, they - yeah, they've been mum on that as well. There's no indication of a motive.

CORNISH: Now, we mentioned that you were outside YouTube's offices. What have you heard from the eyewitnesses that you spoke to?

HARNETT: Yeah, well, I talked to a couple employees. I mean, everyone, as you can imagine, was kind of shocked. I talked to one employee who said when he heard the gunshots, they were so out of context that he thought it was the sound of a balloon. And then he saw someone on the ground, and he fled. And he said, you know, sadly this is something - it's actually not that shocking to him because he's been hearing so much about all of these incidents. He just - he couldn't believe it finally happened at where he works.

CORNISH: Did people talk about sort of how they were feeling as this unfolded? We've heard from eyewitnesses who talked about the fact that the fire alarm had been pulled, and so people didn't necessarily know what was going on right away.

HARNETT: Yeah, there was a lot of confusion. And, you know, people fled the scene pretty quickly. I mean, there were 1,100 employees there. And, you know, once the police got on scene, everyone was kind of - kind of got out pretty quickly. But again, I think it was just like a feeling of depression and weight, the fact that this has happened yet again, you know? And, you know, for those who were there, they just couldn't believe it had happened.

CORNISH: You said a feeling of depression. What were people saying about this?

HARNETT: Well, yeah, I talked to someone else who had mentioned, you know, that, like, in California there was San Bernardino a couple of years ago where a bunch of people were killed. Just last year there was another incident of workplace violence where a worker opened fire and killed some employees and killed themselves. So, you know, just those incidents are really kind of - they just seem sort of commonplace.

CORNISH: Right now, do we have an - any indication what authorities say their next steps will be?

HARNETT: Yeah, they just sort of - they've finished, like, the tactical phase where they have cleared the building. And now they're moving into the investigative phase. And out of that we should get more details about who the person was that committed the crime and the victims. And I'll say something a lot of people are talking about is the fact that this was a woman. Almost all mass shootings in the U.S. have been perpetrated by men, most of them white. So in this instance, you know, that stands out.

CORNISH: I know people are also asking questions about how the suspect might have been able to get into the building - right? - without an employee pass of some kind.

HARNETT: Right. I mean, like most of these technology campuses, you need a key card to move around. So it would be very difficult or more difficult for someone who's not an employee to get into the building and to move about freely.

CORNISH: Before I let you go, have we heard from YouTube officials or their parent company Google?

HARNETT: Yes. Yeah. YouTube came out and issued a statement. I mean, they basically just thanked law enforcement for coming out. And they talked about how YouTube is a tight-knit community, and that the employees are all kind of - you know, all kind of shocked but kind of coming together.

CORNISH: That's Sam Harnett of KQED. Thank you for speaking with us.

HARNETT: Yeah, thanks, Audie. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.