Four people were injured in a shooting and the suspected gunman died in what appears to be a self-inflicted wound at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., police said Tuesday. Authorities said the person who died was a woman and that they believe she could be the shooter.
San Bruno police said Tuesday they arrived at YouTube’s headquarters to find employees fleeing, and the first gunshot victim they encountered was at the front of the building. Authorities did not immediately confirm if the shooter was a YouTube employee or whether there were any problems with the building’s security.
YouTube’s headquarters are located 12 miles south of San Francisco and about 26 miles north of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. Over 1,100 employees work at the San Bruno location, which was bought by Google in 2015. The headquarters span about 200,000 square feet and include a lap pool, a basketball court and a slide going between the second and third floors.
While Silicon Valley companies like YouTube and Google have strong armed security at their headquarters, the open building structures of the companies make them somewhat easy to access, according to Kara Swisher, co-founder of the technology news website Recode. Swisher told MSNBC on Tuesday that security guards at YouTube are not immediately perceptible.
“They feel like college campuses in a lot of ways,” she said. “It’s easy to come in and out of doors. It’s relatively easy to get access to these buildings.”
Swisher noted that the YouTube headquarters itself has less of a “college campus” feel than Google because it is located in a busy area and that the building is fairly easy to enter because of the high number of people walking around. Like most other office buildings, people need designated badges to gain access to employee areas. YouTube, which has a large fan base, tends to attract a higher volume of visitors than other tech firms, she said.
Silicon Valley security officers number in the thousands, working for companies like Facebook, Cicso, Google and Apple. In 2014, Google announced it would hire about 200 in-house security guards for its Mountain View headquarters and for YouTube’s headquarters, as several Silicon Valley firms came under scrutiny for relying on outside contractors for security services.