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Active Shooter at YouTube Headquarters. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired April 3, 2018 - 16:30   ET



MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That long stretch of the South Bay south of San Francisco.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Miguel, if I can interrupt for just one second -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I will come back to you one second.

I just want to -- on the screen right now, we see individuals, presumably people who are employees of YouTube or at least were in the building, the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, having walked out of the building.

They are being frisked by police before they are allowed to leave. Obviously, this is not unusual for an active shooter situation. They don't know who the shooter is. They're making sure that the shooter did not try to blend in with the crowd exiting the building.

But we go -- I interrupted you. Go ahead. I'm sorry.

MARQUEZ: But it is a scene similar to so many places that we have seen already, other photos showing employees with their hands held up as police go through and try to make sure that anybody who may have been the shooter isn't trying to escape from the situation, along with employees and along with people who may be innocent.

The area always he is a very dense area of south of San Francisco in the Silicon Valley of California. YouTube, this campus has a couple thousand employees. There is a lot of discussion on social media about different individuals hearing parts of what may have been a shooter in the cafeteria, in that outdoor cafeteria area.

But so far, there is no confirmation that there was actually a shooter, no confirmation that anyone's been injured, and no confirmation that police are actually on the tail of anybody who may have been in that facility.

TAPPER: YouTube, we should note, owned by Google purchased several years ago, and there are individuals -- obviously, this is perhaps the most tech-savvy section of the entire United States and people who work for YouTube with verified accounts are tweeting things like: "Active shooter at YouTube headquarters, heard shots and saw people running while at my desk, now barricaded inside a room with co- workers."

That individual a few minutes later tweeting, "Safe, got evacuated. Outside now."

So there is a lot of information from individuals who are verified who work for YouTube in that area of San Bruno, California, Miguel.


Look, these are scenes that we see way too often. And clearly the police have responded in a massive fashion, not only with police officers, but certainly with fire and ambulance as well, in the event of a mass casualty incident. The city of San Bruno saying they have sent everything to this area to lock it down and make sure if that there is an active shooter, that they stop it as quickly as possible, and are trying to be as aggressive as possible in this area.

You can see from these -- the video now from another affiliate of ours (INAUDIBLE) just the very heavy police presence around this headquarters, around YouTube headquarters, that the number people of flooding out of that building -- as police try to move in, people come flooding out.

And they have to make sure that one of those people flooding out is not connected -- the shooter or connected to the shooter if there is a shooter in the situation. So it gets to be a very, very complicated task for a police force, perfectly when their main goal is to get into that building.

There were earlier pictures where we saw literally police officers in a line, three, four, five long, with the shield in front, all of their weapons drawn, moving slowly into that building -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Miguel Marquez, we're going to come back in a moment.

But just about right now joining me on the phone is a witness to all of this. She is an employee at YouTube. She does not want us to use her name, so we will not.

But you're joining us.

Tell us what you saw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I actually was on a videoconference with someone who was in the building when it happened.

And we were all suddenly aware of a lot of sort of noises, sounds of people running outside of the room where she was and people screaming. And the person within the room on the videoconference in the building suddenly became very alarmed and was listening to the sounds and suddenly became very scared and said, I have to get out of here, at which point she abruptly left.

And we were all in a different building just down the street. And we called Google security, who had already been made aware of the incident, but wasn't necessarily aware of details, and had informed the city police.



TAPPER: What sounds did you hear? What sounds did you hear in the background?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was -- sounds were people running and sounds of screaming.

But it was hard to hear anything else, if there was anything else to hear at that time.

TAPPER: Your colleague who was on the other line who was in this particular building when this was going on, did she -- did he or she -- I you said she -- say anything about having heard shots?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn't. She ran quickly out of the room, obviously very eager to leave the building.

And in speaking later with her and others who had been there, they did manage to get out of the building. And everything after that was a panic. I mean, it was a lot of -- there is an active shooter is what they were saying, and that someone was down on the patio outside.

But that -- that's all that we have heard so far. Everybody's just trying to get away.

TAPPER: How big of a complex, how big a campus is this, the Google headquarters?

And for those just tuning in, there has apparently been a -- there's an active shooter situation at YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google.

How big a campus is this? How many buildings?


TAPPER: Four buildings.

And can you tell me, what kind of security is there at Google headquarters?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's security at all Google headquarters, a physical presence, as well as other types of security.

TAPPER: And YouTube and Google have separate campuses?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Depending on where you are, they're kind of mixed up in different parts of the world, but here Google -- YouTube has its own sort of campus here in San Bruno.

TAPPER: OK, so, it's not on the same Google campus?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. TAPPER: But this shooting was in the YouTube building?


TAPPER: What else are you hearing from individuals, from colleagues of yours who work in that building?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just that I think there was not a whole lot, nothing really additional, just a lot of people running away.

I think people -- as soon as whatever started happening was happening, people tried to get out of the building as fast that they could. And there's lots of different exit points, so obviously many people were able to do that.

TAPPER: All right. Well, we're glad you're safe and we're obviously hoping for the best. Thank you so much for talking to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thanks so much.

TAPPER: Joining me now is Josh Campbell. He is a former FBI supervisory special agent.

Josh, in a situation like this, what are police doing in this immediate stage?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: What we're hearing from law enforcement officials there in the area that talked about this response -- you had San Bruno police, you had the California Highway Patrol.

And once that word goes out, you will have that fuse -- fusing of resources that will descend on that campus and start working through methodically to determine, is there a threat and where is it?

These campuses, for anyone who's been there, they know these are large, sprawling compounds. So, it takes awhile, and it's going to be awhile until we finally get the all-clear for police.

For them to send out word that there is no longer a threat, that is a type of call that is serious. It's something that they're going to ensure that they have right before it happens. And so as you see these pictures here, the helicopter footage, they have a lot of ground to cover and they're going to be going through step by step.

One thing that is good with these facilities is that they do practice a lot, the law enforcement, so if you think of the fire department having the layout of buildings and knowing where the standpipes are, where the sprinklers are, same with the police.

I mean, they're going to know exactly how to navigate this building and work through it. A lot of former law enforcement officers actually go to work in security for these types of facilities, so they do have that relationship.

One thing I will say too is that we saw some of the numbers of 911 calls. I wouldn't -- I wouldn't read too much into that at this point. In an incident like this, where you have so many people concentrated, if anyone hears shots, they're going to start calling.

So I don't think that we can say at this point the extent or the gravity of the situation until we get more details, but obviously we will stay tuned and we will stay plugged in with our law enforcement contacts.

TAPPER: If you're just joining us, shortly after the top of the hour, at about 1:01 Pacific time, San Bruno police notified the public through Twitter and other means of police activity at 901 Cherry Street, please stay out of the area.

That is the -- that is a building owned by YouTube. And then shortly after that, they were reported on Twitter, the San Bruno police: "We're responding to an active shooter. Please stay away from Cherry Avenue and Bay Hill drive."

That's in San Bruno, California, just south of San Francisco.

The challenge, Josh Campbell, for police in a situation like this where there is an active shooter at YouTube headquarters in one of the buildings at YouTube, is they don't know how many there are. They don't know where the person is. And they don't know if the shooter is trying to blend in with everyone else who was evacuating the building.


And that's why we see San Bruno police frisking individuals who have lined up to exit and get out of the area.

CAMPBELL: No, you're right.

And lots of challenges with a facility of this size, particularly communication. If you think about it, as we have heard unfortunately far too often in recent days about the training that law enforcement goes through and the response and actually surging to the location of the sound of shots and the threats, they don't have the luxury of arriving on the scene and then gathering together and figure out how they're going to go in.

Regardless of what their entry point is, as they arrive at this facility, they're going to go. And so that communication is going to be important. Fortunately, it's something that they train for.

As you mentioned, they have to treat everyone as though they're a threat until they're convinced they're not a threat. So as you see these images here of them going through, you see people -- or they're coming out with their hands up and being frisked. They want to make sure that none of these people are actually threats themselves.

If you remember back to Parkland, there was the -- some of the reporting about the shooter actually exiting and blending in and then getting out. That's obviously at the forefront of the minds of officers as they are dealing with these people, obviously treating them professionally, but also treating them seriously enough where again unless they are convinced they are not a threat, they're going to treat them otherwise.

But, again, employees, unfortunately, as part of these active duty -- active shooter drills as well, is they have gone through a lot of this training, especially with these massive facilities, these large companies, and, then, fortunately, kind of know the drill.

And what we're seeing play out on our screen right now is that response.

TAPPER: Google, which owns YouTube -- Google Communications has just tweeted: "Regarding the YouTube situation, we are coordinating with authorities and will provide official information here from Google and YouTube as it becomes available."

I want to bring in James Gagliano. He's a retired FBI supervisory special agent.

James, thanks for joining us.

How will law enforcement begin to investigate this?

JAMES GAGLIANO, RETIRED FBI CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, Jake, a far too familiar scene, as we see the aerial photos or the aerial video of the complex there.

And as a former SWAT team leader, I can tell you that the problems inherent in a site that is this large with that many employees. And to your point earlier, you're trying to assess in real time who the good guys are and who the civilians we need to extricate from the place, and then who the shooter is or what the motivation for the shooter is.

And for law enforcement, the calculus, you have got to do this in real time. The calculus, is it somebody who's mentally disturbed? Is it somebody who's a disgruntled employee who is coming back to exact some type of revenge? Is it a domestic dispute? Is it two employees that just have a beef with each other?

Is it a mass shooter? Is it somebody looking to drive up a casualty count as quickly as they can? So all those things have to be -- in real time have to be figured out.

And the two different procedures that law enforcement will be using right now in the tactical resolution phase of this is, is this a contain and negotiate, meaning set up a perimeter, try to get all the civilians out of there as you possibly can, set up a perimeter, and then look to set up negotiations, or is this a mass casually shooting where we need to go in, interdict immediately, move to the sound of the guns?

TAPPER: All right, James, stand by.

I want to bring in CNN's Brian Stelter now.

Brian, you know somebody in the building. Have you been able to make contact with that person? What are you hearing? BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, talking to a couple staffers who were at YouTube headquarters.

One of them is still waiting to be evacuated from the building right now. The other person has been brought outside, was able to get to a vehicle and be able to head home. Some of these staffers, once they have been searched, once they have been allowed to leave, they are trying to get away from the scene, so as not to be part of the problem, as we see a lot of activity around the YouTube campus.

YouTube's been based here, Jake, for about eight years. This is a campus situation. These buildings do have security. When you're visiting or when you're a staffer, you have to check in, you have to have your badge

But there are, as Miguel Marquez said, thousands of people working at a campus the size. And in San Bruno there, just south of San Francisco, you have a lot of staffers at this time of day coming and going because it's a lunch hour there at YouTube.

So far, all we have heard from the company is what you mentioned, that the company's coordinating with authorities and doesn't have anything else to say yet.

TAPPER: Did your -- did either of the individuals, the YouTube employees with whom you spoke, did either of them hear shots, hear screaming? What do they know about the actual incident?


So, one of these two employees did describe hearing shots from within the building that he was in. That person has been able to now leave the campus safely.

I think it is hopefully a positive sign that we're not seeing chatter on social media about gunfire still happening. No indication that right now people are having to take cover at this moment. That may be a positive sign.

But we only know what we're seeing or not seeing online, what we're seeing from these aerial pictures.

TAPPER: Thanks, Brian Stelter.

Let me bring Josh Campbell back, the former FBI supervisory special agent.

[16:45:00] Josh, right now we're looking at images of YouTube employees presumably who are lining up to be frisked by local police to make sure that none of them is the shooter and that's obviously one of the complications when you have an active shooter situation.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It is. And you know, as I mentioned before, this is going to take some time. There are a lot of people that work in a facility of this size so again, similar to a fire drill if you think of at your place of employment. We now are in the era of active shooter drills. And so employees goes through that. They know where to go, where to unite once they're outside the building and we're seeing that now, employees that are gathering together. And again law enforcement responding is going to go through each person and make sure that there's not a threat.

And a lot of this is going to depend also on what witnesses are saying. So as they're going through, a and not only determining if someone among them may be involved but they also want to know what they saw. They want to know what they heard so they can determine what it is that they're dealing with. Is this one person you know, that showed up and maybe that someone knew or was it a stranger? Maybe someone did know. That's all going to be good intelligence that they're going to need in order to figure out what they're dealing with.

TAPPER: So, Josh, when Google, which owns YouTube, tweets out that they are working with authorities and presumably, they're speaking for YouTube as well. What does that mean? How can -- how can the executives of YouTube be helping authorities right now?

CAMPBELL: Well, companies this size work with law enforcement on a daily base. And I know even from my time with the FBI here in Los Angeles that a lot of these major companies will have you know, these relationships that are built, whether it's you know, just general security of a facility, maybe if there's some time of cyber issue or you know, there are a lot of different threats that these types of facilities face. And so they have those inroads into law enforcement.

When we flip the switch from an investigation into a serious issue like we're seeing play out in front of us, it's those types of relationships that are going to be tapped into on both sides. You're going to have law enforcement reaching out to the company to try to determine what's going on, and if the company has information, they're doing the same thing. Remember, at the end of the day, both side, whether you're on law enforcement, whether you're one of these companies, your goal is the protection of life and your employees. And so they're going to be working together, you know, really tapping into those relationships. And as I mentioned before, you know, a lot of these corporate security folks that we see in companies are former law enforcement.

And so you know, to be able to pick up the phone and call and you know, share critical information that may help you know, identify a threat and find out what they're dealing with, that going to be key and we'll see it play out. But I think -- you know, bottom line, let's just as -- we see these images unfold, it's going to take some time. Again, they're going to be going through that facility. we may not have a resolution on this for some time now but obviously, it's something we'll continue to watch. I've been talking with our law enforcement sources that we know, they're trying on gather some additional information here as we move along and we'll provide those details as they continue to come about.

TAPPER: Let me -- thank you, Josh. Let me go back to James Gagliano, and he's retired FBI Supervisor and Special Agent. And James, we are obviously just watching this breaking news situation unfold. The San Bruno police first alerted individuals about this within the hour, just 47 minutes ago on Twitter. What are you hearing from your sources?

JAMES A. GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first and foremost, I mean, looking at the video feed that's coming in right now, Jake, and seeing the firefighters on the scene which that's part of consequence management. And that usually happens after the tactical resolution takes place. I also saw some folks that were in shirt sleeves ahead, bulletproof vest on that were moving into the area and they appeared to be coming back outside. I don't -- I don't know if there's a stand down yet but I'm also surprised at how close they're keeping some of the civilians. What we teach civilians to do in this situations as these types of events have proliferated of recent, we teach these four things. The first thing to do in a situation like the with an active shooter is to run and get out of there. Do what you can to put as much distance between you and the gunfire as possible. If you can't do that, to hide. Try to find some play to provide you two things, cover, and concealment.

Third, if you have nothing else that you can do in the event that you have to face and adversary, is then to fight. And then fourth, and this is supremely important, is to tell. So I'm certain right now that the folks there on the scene are trying to gather from the law enforcement perspective as much intelligence, actionable intelligence they can about how many shooters, where are they located, where were they moving to, what seemed to be the motivation? Were they looking for somebody? Were they just randomly shooting? Those are all critical pieces that would go together to kind of paint a profile for who law enforcement are going to confront on this.

TAPPER: And right now, I mean, we're just looking at trying to get as much information as we can about YouTube. We're told that there are more than 1,100 staffers on this campus. That makes this quite a challenge. The ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives just tweeted that the ATF San Francisco field division is responding to a reported shooting at YouTube Headquarters in San Bruno, California. What kind of role, James, might the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives play in a situation like this?

[16:50:20] GAGLIANO: Well, I mean, you know, obviously an incendiary device or an improvised explosives devise. I mean the casualties that can be caused by even a rudimentary one, we saw in it Austin and the fear and the tare that that can create. For the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms to be -- to be involved in this, that says that there might be some indication that there might have been a device found possibly. That's something they could be pulled in on. A case like this on such a grand scale, so many different buildings here, for police to A, put together a perimeter to make sure that they don't let anybody that was involved scored out, get outside the perimeter and B, then to move to and find wherever the shooter is because this place is so cavernous.

That's where the intelligence will play in and be so important. And Jake, you know the old saying about combat or law enforcement. Initial reports are always inaccurate so law enforcement has to kind of sift through this understanding that the reports they're hearing through social media, the reports through two people that might have seen the exact same thing but seen it from a different perspective, they've got to sort through that and try to get it right in real time.

TAPPER: Let me bring Josh Campbell back. And Josh, your response to the fact that ATF San Francisco is coming to the YouTube Headquarters to assist in this operation.

CAMPBELL: Yes, these types of incidents, it's going to be all hands on deck and you're going to have federal, state, local law enforcement responding, providing those resources. And once they arrive, you know, we're going to see that unified command. They'll be working together. Again, we're hearing earlier as far as San Bruno and the California Highway Patrol on scene. Now, we're seeing the federal resources that are also flooding in and they'll be working together. Again, with the size of this conflicts, they're going to be tapping into all the resources that they can get in order to go methodically and try to determine what it is that they're dealing with. You're also going to have a lot of witnesses to interview. You mentioned the number 1,100 employees. That's a lot for law enforcement officers to fan out and again try to you know, talk to each person to figure out, what did you see?

A lot of times witnesses may not know even know that what they saw is important so they're going to be trying to gather that information to bring that out of them, and that's going to require a lot of law enforcement officers. Also, you know, in the -- in the era that we're in, we're at the digital age, everyone has a camera, everyone has a phone. So was there some type of evidence that they have from inside these 1,100 potential witnesses here. You know, again, it's a tech company. They're used to this -- you know, this field and these type of medium. So is that something that can help law enforcement? These are questions that they're going to be asking as they go through. I think one that's interesting to note as we sit here and watch the footage is we -- it appears from the helicopter foot passage that we're no longer seeing the quick arrival of resources that we saw earlier where you have law enforcement officers that were really surging.

Again, it's too soon to read into what exactly that means. Perhaps they're (INAUDIBLE) and they're able to through methodically, you know, go through the facility. At some point there's the law of diminishing returns so you don't want to have so many resources that they can't communicate with each other but at least it tells me in looking at how things have appear to calmed a little bit that you're not seeing you know, those additional emergency vehicles show up, you're not seeing people taken out. That tells me that you know, maybe it's a smaller issue than you know, obviously what everyone fears but we'll continue to watch the footage.

TAPPER: Yes, and that's the point that James was making earlier. And James, it does seem when you see police walking, I don't want to say casually but they're not running into the building. There is not -- often in these active shooter situations, they set up a perimeter and then they keep pushing the perimeter farther and farther out to keep innocent civilians as far away as possible from the potential danger. I don't see that urgency in the images we're seeing. It doesn't necessarily mean anything but it does -- it does look what you were suggesting that possibly there has been something of a stand down.

GAGLIANO: Certainly. And Jake, we're trying to read the tea leaves here and see this from the images that are coming in and what we're seeing in open source reporting right now. But I think it it's also important to make sure the viewers understand. When law enforcement sets up perimeters, there's never one perimeter. There's an outer perimeter and then there's an inner perimeter.

Now, the inner perimeter is where frenetic activities is going to play and take place. That's where they tactical resolution goes down. That could be a particular building or a particular parking lot or a particular set of buildings. Then you would you expand that out into a larger outer perimeter and that maybe what we're looking out right now. We don't know where the actual, and we refer to it as a crisis site. We don't know which building, which car, which parking lot is the actual crisis site. But understand these things happen in three kind of chronological line ups. The first thing, the crisis resolution, stop the bad guy. If it's somebody with a gun, if it's somebody that happened to have a pipe bomb or something like that, we've got to get to them and interdict them right away and stop any harm and damage to property. The next thing is the consequence management.

That's why you see the firefighters out there. They're the ones that are going to come through after the place has been cleared, if there's any booby traps or tripwire or other things that could have been left behind by the bad guys, the firefighters will take care of any mitigation of you know, noxious fumes or chemicals or fires or anything like that. Last thing, now, it's important but obviously, the first two are much more important is preservation of the crime scene because we want to find out who did this, who was involved with them. Is it a single person? Is it a lone wolf or is it a number of bad actors that are working together as part of a conspiracy and we need to be able to collect and harvest as much of the evidence. And that's where the crime scene folks, the FBI uses the evidence response team to come in and make sure that they put together a rock solid case that can then be taken to trial to prosecute somebody that might have been behind this.

[16:56:14] TAPPER: And we are seeing reports from journalists on twitter about patients being admitted in local hospitals. These have not been independently confirmed by CNN so I'm not going to give you the direct information but there does seem to be some reporting out there from individual hospitals at Stanford and San Francisco of people being brought from YouTube to the hospitals. No word on conditions, Josh, but as we know, sometimes from incidents like this, there are injuries that are not necessarily directly related to a shooting.

CAMPBELL: No, you're absolutely right. And that's all going to be information that will get more clarity on it as it unfolds. If you think back to San Bernardino and obviously the deadly horrific attack that happened there, also here in California, I talked to one of the medics who was there. He was actually a tactical medic. And that's something that law enforcement has really been focused on as of late is you know, having these resources on staff that can surge not only you know, to an emergency room when need be but to a scene where an incident is taking place.

And as we learned if San Bernardino, the after-action there, even hospitals are now -- they're always involved as far as getting word when these types of incidents happen but they have these processes that they'll go through where they respond. They'll send out the code where everyone in the hospital emergency room at these locations you know, within the vicinity of an incident, will be on standby. I understand that at any time, you know, under the worst scenarios, they could get victims.

Again, you always learn lessons from previous attacks. That's one of the things that they learned in San Bernardino was to have that heads up, to have that notification, to have that training, and that's something security professional and hospitals and law enforcements are working together you know, throughout the country. We'll continue to gather that information. Obviously if we -- again, as we start seeing the exit of emergency vehicles, that will be telling to us as far as, you know, are there patients that actually being brought out? In some of these instances, they'll try to treat and triage on scene before they actually transport. And so you know, that may just be something that we're not able to see. Obviously, we hope that that's not the case, that there aren't any injuries, that it is you know, very much contained. But that's something that obviously we'll pay attention to.

TAPPER: And we're looking at live pictures right now of the YouTube campus in San Bruno, California. If you're just joining us, there are reports earlier today of an active shooter there within the hour. We have not heard from San Bruno Police as to what the status that is. We keep seeing individuals leaving the campus being frisked by the San Bruno Police. Now, San Francisco General Hospital is now reporting that they are receiving patients, they are receiving victims from this incident at YouTube. That's according to our CNN affiliate KPIX.

There are also four to five victims en route to Stanford Health Center. We don't know yet the conditions of those victims. If you're just joining us, within the hour, San Bruno Police reported that there's an active shooter situation in YouTube Headquarters in San Bruno, California which is just south of San Francisco. And James, the FBI has been covering and studying shooter -- shooting situations, mass shooting situations and others since Columbine and have conclude that had most of these incidents take place fairly quickly.

GAGLIANO: Yes, absolutely. And Jake, I would tell you, it probably goes back as far as August 1st of 1966 when the Texas Clock Tower Shooter Charles Whitman climbed up a tower at the University of Texas in Austin and shot a number of students during summer classes. And that really is when the study of these types of events began to you know, to gather steam. I guess the big thing here, post-Columbine and when you think about this Jake, this month it's 19 years to the month of Columbine. The lesson learned from that is we cannot wait for organic homogeneous teams to show up and to go in.