Some 1,700 employees evacuated the YouTube head office in San Bruno, California, after a female suspect identified as Nasim Aghdam, allegedly used a handgun to shoot two women aged 32 and 27, as well as a 36-year-old man. The man is believed to have been the suspect’s boyfriend. Police have yet to determine the true motive of the shooting and did not release the victim’s names. Investigators reported that the woman approached YouTube’s outdoor dining courtyard, then fired before entering the office.
As the shooting incident occurred, YouTube product manager Todd Sherman (@tdd) tweeted “We were sitting in a meeting and then we heard people running because it was rumbling the floor. First thought earthquake.” After leaving the room, Sherman saw “blood drips on the floor and stairs”, and “Peaked (sic) around for threats and then… headed downstairs and out the front… at that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter.”
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en-gb”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Witness of the YouTube HQ shooting gives account of what he saw. Via <a href=”https://twitter.com/tdd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@tdd</a> <a href=”https://t.co/e0uoDdXT1w”>pic.twitter.com/e0uoDdXT1w</a></p>— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) <a href=”https://twitter.com/KEEMSTAR/status/981278021863829509?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>3 April 2018</a></blockquote>
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Meanwhile, another employee, Vadim Lavrusik (@Lavrusik) tweeted as he and other colleagues hid: “Active shooter at YouTube HQ. Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk. Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers”. Sherman’s calm assessment of the situation and prompting his colleagues to leave the building, as well as Lavrusik’s act of barricading himself with colleagues are prime examples of how to react and act in a situation where an active shooter is present.
A 911 emergency dispatcher related the incident as it unfolded: “Shooter. Another party said they spotted someone with a gun. Suspect came from the back patio… again we have a report of a subject with a gun. They heard seven or eight shots being fired.”
According to San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini, officers arrived at YouTube HQ at 12:48 pm local time (2:48 EST), and were greeted with a “chaotic scene” with “numerous people fleeing”, along with one person right outside the office who sustained a gunshot wound. A few minutes after officers arrived, the suspect was found dead, appearing to have turned the gun on herself. Two more casualties, bystanders at a nearby establishment, sustained injuries during the chaos.
One of the victims was a woman who got shot in the leg, but thankfully a quick-thinking employee at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant across the street applied an improvised tourniquet from bungee cord to her wound as they waited for paramedics. The other victim sustained an ankle injury while trying to flee the scene.
After the incident, local TV footage showed YouTube employees calmly lining up with their hands raised, allowing police to frisk them and rule out other possible suspects.
Three of the shooter’s victims were rushed to the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The 32-year-old woman’s condition is serious, the 27-year-old is in fair condition, and the 36-year-old man is in critical condition.