At 12:46pm local time in San Bruno, California, the first 911 calls flooded into area police about shots fired inside YouTube’s campus at Cherry Avenue & Bay Hill Drive.
Three patients were sent to San Francisco General Hospital, a level one trauma center, according to San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini. One patient is in critical condition, one patient is in serious condition, and one is in fair condition. Early reports claimed that Stanford Health Care was treating patients, but according to KCBS, later clarified that they were expecting patients but none arrived.
1,700 people work at the video sharing platform’s global headquarters, but the headquarters are also near the headquarters for Walmart’s e-commerce operations. A witness told KNTV that people are sheltering in place there.
News helicopter footage showed people leaving the YouTube campus with their hands up. A witness among a group of employees leaving the campus told KGO that they were being staged to a different building on YouTube’s campus.
San Bruno’s city manager told CNBC that police believe that there is no immediate danger to the public.
Re: YouTube situation, we are coordinating with authorities and will provide official information here from Google and YouTube as it becomes available.
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) April 3, 2018
Tweets, Snaps, and other social media platforms exploded with activity as YouTube employees began posting from their locations on and around the campus.
We were sitting in a meeting and then we heard people running because it was rumbling the floor. First thought was earthquake. https://t.co/gmolQmRXm1
— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is responding to the shooting, while local police have shut down the southbound lanes of I-280 which passes not too far from YouTube’s campus.
The ATF San Francisco Field Division is responding to a reported shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. pic.twitter.com/l7XabZ5FpI
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) April 3, 2018
Police have identified the suspect as Nasim Najafi Aghdam of San Diego. Aghdam was the owner of several YouTube channels that frequently posted about animal rights and veganism. The channels were terminated on Tuesday night after being identified as the shooter’s.
According to Ismail Aghdam, Nasim’s father, she was missing for several days and was located by police in Mountain View, California – home to Google’s main campus – on Tuesday morning. Aghdam told the San Jose Mercury News that he informed authorities that she might be heading to YouTube because she “hated”the company.
Aghdam claimed in posts on her website that YouTube was discriminating against her by filtering her channels to “keep them for getting views,” claiming to receive 10 cents in Google Adsense revenue on ads that appear against her videos from 300,000 video views.
YouTube has policies that hide videos that “may not be appropriate for all audiences” to users younger than 18 for vulgar language, violence and disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, and portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities. Those videos also don’t have Adsense ads shown against them, a policy referred to among YouTubers as “demonetization.”