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Eyewitness accounts describe YouTube headquarters shooting

Police in San Bruno, Calif., said Tuesday afternoon they are responding to an active shooter in the vicinity of YouTube’s headquarters.
Police in San Bruno, Calif., said Tuesday afternoon they are responding to an active shooter in the vicinity of YouTube’s headquarters.

NEW YORK — Google’s YouTube campus in San Bruno, Calif., was thrown into chaos Tuesday after an active shooter opened fire and injured staffers before apparently killing herself.

Here are accounts from some of the people who were on campus when the shooting happened:

Zach Vorhies, a YouTube software engineer, said he escaped a building on campus after seeing a heavyset man on the ground with what appeared to be a gunshot to the stomach. Vorhies said he saw a police officer coming in with an assault rifle and bolted out of the rear exit. He spoke in an interview.


Sepand Parhami is a software engineer who has worked at YouTube for two years. He said he was on a patio having lunch when he heard a couple shots fired. “It looked to be a woman, from the person’s height and stance,” Parhami said. The shooter was coming from the parking garage to the lobby. Parhami then scrambled for the door and went inside. “Then the shooter started shooting at the lobby doors,” Parhami said. “There were drops of blood on the staircase. There were also sirens going off within the building.” He said he saw one person lying on the ground outside the lobby doors at the patio.

Charlie Chen works at a bank nearby and had gone to a local Carl’s Jr. for lunch. He heard at least 20 rounds of gunshots, and someone called 911. A girl came into the Carl’s Jr. with a gunshot wound to her calf. It took five to seven minutes for the ambulance to come.

A YouTube employee says she saw the female suspect open fire.

Dianna Arnspiger said she was on the second floor when she heard gunshots, ran to the window, and saw a woman firing a gun on a patio below.


Arnspiger says she called out, ‘‘ ‘Shooter,’ and everybody started running.’’ She and others hid in a conference room for an hour while someone called 911 repeatedly for updates. She says, ‘‘it was terrifying.’’

YouTube employee Vadim Lavrusik posted on Twitter that he heard gunshots and saw people running. He said he was barricaded in a room with his co-workers before being safely evacuated.

Twitter posts from staff at YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, reflected the internal confusion. Todd Sherman, a YouTube product manager, wrote on Twitter that staff was running through the office halls. “At that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter,” he wrote.

Police cruisers pulled up, “with rifles ready,” according to Sherman. Later, he wrote that he was in an Uber cab on the way home. “Hope everyone is safe,” he wrote. Sherman did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.