A suburban corporate tech center south of San Francisco turned into a scene of terror as police responded to reports of an active shooter at YouTube headquarters on Tuesday.
Michelle Tam, a hostess at the Hashes & Brews restaurant about a block away from YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, said police cars and fire trucks swarmed the street about 12:45 p.m.
"We see lots of cops and firefighters," Tam said. "We can’t see any people. It’s just a lot of trucks along the street at the moment."
She said three YouTube employees came in and were visibly shaken.
“They came in from a back door,” she said. “They sat down at a table. They were in a daze. One guy, there was a little blood on his head.”
Tam said one of her coworkers gave them a first aid kit and one of the YouTube employees said there was a fragment of a bullet in her shoe.
About two dozen customers barricaded themselves inside Nueve restaurant after authorities told them to “stay far away from YouTube” about 1 p.m., bartender Carlos Gutierrez said.
“Is this really happening?” Gutierrez wondered. “Or is it a false alarm?”
A woman with blood on her hair who was interviewed on TV later, confirmed that it was really happening. Police, California Highway Patrol and SWAT officers carrying sniper rifles moved past the windows of the restaurant.
Cory Jimenez manages a Chili’s restaurant a few blocks from YouTube’s campus at the corner of Bayhill Drive and El Camino Real.
The door to the restaurant had been locked, but Jimenez was letting people in.
He said around 15 YouTube employees came in and were trying to make sense of what was happening on their campus.
“They have just been trying to get ahold of friends and employees to tell them they’re safe,” Jimenez said.
“There’s definitely a few of them who are shaken up, you can just tell. Some of them had no idea what was happening. Some had a small glimpse and you could tell have had a traumatic experience.”
Lucacio Simoes, 40, an Uber driver from San Bruno, learned about the shooting when a friend texted him about it while he was having lunch at the nearby Tanforan shopping center. Simoes said he drove his Ford Explorer towards YouTube headquarters to see if he could help.
"There were people running down the street," he said.
Simoes said he turned off the Uber app and start to pick people up from the street who looked like they needed help.
"I just opened the door and asked if they needed help. I was getting people away from YouTube. At one point I had seven people in the car. I picked up one man from Sneath Lane and when he got in the car he just started crying. He was in shock."
Simoes said he dropped people off at the Tanforan Mall and on El Camino, and had performed at least six such rides Tuesday afternoon.