Woman Shot And Wounded Several People At YouTube HQ, Before Killing Herself

Apr 3, 2018
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Gunfire broke out this afternoon at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. Police say they found a woman's body inside the building. They believe she shot and wounded several people before killing herself. The situation unfolded before 1 o'clock Pacific time. Sepand Parhami is a YouTube engineer. He says he was eating lunch on a patio outside when he heard shots.

SEPAND PARHAMI: I thought, like, they were balloons popping or something. There were - it was pretty loud, I think, for a balloon pop, but, like, that was what I was running through my mind at the moment. And then, you know, at that point, I was like, OK, that's it; it was just some balloons, something like that. Then, like - I don't know. I can't tell, like, the time frames 'cause it's kind of hard. But then I heard, you know, a series of more shots. And then that's when, like, I feel like I started to and, like, everyone else started to, like, scramble for the door.

CORNISH: He says he heard a total of about 10 to 15 gunshots. We're going to turn now to Trisha Thadani, a business reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. She was actually at YouTube headquarters today. Welcome to the program.

TRISHA THADANI: Hi, thanks for having me.

CORNISH: Now, at what point in the day did you reach the headquarters? And what did you see when you got there?

THADANI: Yeah, so I got here I'm going to say maybe around 1, 1:15. The - I think me and my colleague Kevin Fagan were one of the first people here. And when I got here (unintelligible) the whole - the area around the headquarters wasn't even blocked off yet. So, you know, I saw, you know, just hordes and hordes of police. There was - I counted about six or seven helicopters circling about. And then there was just groups of employees that, as you can imagine, just looked incredibly rattled. You know, many...

CORNISH: And you spoke to some of these people who were eyewitnesses, right? What have they told you?

THADANI: I did. Yeah. So it was during lunch hour, so a lot of them were in the middle of lunch or just winding down, getting ready to take a break. This one group of employees (unintelligible) they - apparently the shooting started in a courtyard and they were right next to that. So they had heard everything. And they saw, you know, people running. They saw the shattered glass. And one of my colleagues, Kevin Fagan, he was actually in a nearby restaurant, a Carl's Jr. where a lot of people had evacuated to. And one man was telling him - one employee was telling him that he had actually seen one victim shot in the leg. And he had helped carry her into the Carl's Jr. And then he - this employee had then run back into YouTube where he said that he saw a woman suffering from what looked like to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And now after what authorities have said they believe that was the shooter.

CORNISH: What have - what more have you heard from police about the suspect or about how things unfolded today?

THADANI: Yeah, so there's - that's still all preliminary. The only thing we have confirmed right now is that it was a female. It's where they don't even know if she was an employee. They don't know how she got into the building. Apparently this shooting - like I said, it happened in a courtyard, but you need to get through the building in order to get into the courtyard. So they don't even know how she got in there. You know, there's plenty of rumors going around about who she was, but nothing confirmed from the police at this point.

CORNISH: And before I let you go, what are the - what's the state of things now on that campus? Are people still hovering around?

THADANI: Yeah, so it's pretty quiet now. So when I first got here, police were still taking statements from a bunch of witnesses. And then there were some employees that I had spoken to that were just kind of waiting around. I mean, they weren't getting any more information than we were. But they were waiting to get their wallets, their keys. I mean, it all happened so quickly that they, you know, didn't have time to grab all of that. So, you know, people, you know, as you could expect, they were like, you don't think that this will happen here. It's just a normal work day, and the next thing you know we're running away - running out of the building. So...

CORNISH: That's - and I want to stop you here. Trisha Thadani of San Francisco Chronicle, thank you.

THADANI: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.