At least three wounded, one dead in gun attack at YouTube HQ

4 Apr 2018

YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California. Image: littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock

The day terror came to YouTube’s doorstep.

The very headquarters of video streaming website YouTube in San Bruno, California, came under attack from a lone woman carrying a gun yesterday (3 April).

It is understood that at least three people are wounded by gunshot and that the female suspect died from a self-inflicted wound.

Police are still endeavouring to find a motive for the attack but it is believed that the woman had previously voiced complaints online about YouTube.

YouTube is the second-biggest search engine on the planet after its parent company, Alphabet-owned Google.

It is understood that the woman approached an outdoor patio and dining courtyard on the campus around lunchtime yesterday and opened fire.

The people injured include a 36-year-old man in critical condition and a 32-year-old woman in serious condition.

Act of violence

Shootings carried out by female shooters are rare in the chronicle of gun killings that have afflicted the US. According to an FBI study of 160 “active shooter” incidents between 2000 and 2013, six incidents (3.8pc) were carried out by a woman shooter.

Most staff were alerted to the attack when the fire alarm went off, not realising something serious had occurred until they saw people running. All staff were evacuated, and among the last to leave was YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to staff: “It’s with great sadness that I tell you – based on the latest information – four people were injured in this horrific act of violence. We’re doing everything we can to support them and their families at this time.

“I’m grateful to everyone inside and outside the company for the outpourings of support and best wishes. I am extremely thankful to the first responders and our own security team who acted so quickly to keep people safe.”

The shootings at San Bruno come amid a raging debate of US gun control laws following the Parkland shooting in Florida that left 17 students and teachers dead.

YouTube itself is one of the companies that introduced new policies following the Parkland killings, restricting gun-related video content.

YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California. Image: littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years