YouTube Campus Shooting Ends With Suspect Dead, Three Hurt

  • Female suspect dies of self-inflicted wound, police chief says
  • Local hospitals report ready to receive patients from incident

A woman shot and injured at least three people before killing herself at Google’s YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, police said.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said three victims were transported to local hospitals Tuesday afternoon. The woman found at the scene appeared to be dead of “a self-inflicted” gunshot wound, he said. No motive was given for the shooting.

Sepand Parhami, a YouTube software engineer, said he was having lunch on an outside patio when he heard shots and saw what looked to be a woman moving from a garage to the lobby of the building. He scrambled for the door and went inside as the woman started shooting, he said in an interview after the incident.

Police said they received multiple emergency calls beginning at 12:46 p.m. local time. Two minutes later officers arrived on the scene and encountered people escaping from the building. They began a search and found someone with gunshot wounds, according to Barberini. As the search continued they found a second person, a female, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound. Police then found two more people with gunshot wounds, he said.

Zach Vorhies, a YouTube software engineer, said he saw a man on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound to the stomach. The victim was a heavyset man lying in the courtyard outside the building, Vorhies said in an interview. Vorhies said he then saw a police officer coming in with an assault rifle and ran out of the building through a rear exit.

Vadim Lavrusik, a product manager at YouTube, wrote earlier on Twitter that he and coworkers were barricaded inside a room at the 901 Cherry Ave. headquarters, before later tweeting “Safe. Got evacuated. Outside now.”

“Our security team has been working closely with authorities to evacuate the buildings and ensure the safety of employees in the area,” Alphabet Inc.’s Google said in a statement. “We advised all other employees in the Bay Area, and people with meetings scheduled, to stay away from the area, and that there is no need to take any action. We have provided employees a helpline.”

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, which has the city’s major trauma center, said they were treating three patients from the incident: a 36-year-old man in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition. The patients had multiple injuries, Andre Campbell, a hospital surgeon, told reporters. Campbell declined to specify the type of gunshot wounds suffered by the victims.

“Gun violence happens here everyday,” Campbell said. “We have a serious problem that we need to address. This is a real problem.”

The Stanford Health Care Center, which had been told to prepare for patients from the shooting, didn’t receive any victims to treat, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene. U.S. President Donald Trump, in a tweet, said he was briefed on the shooting and offered his “thoughts and prayers” for everyone involved.

San Bruno is a city 11 miles south of downtown San Francisco which is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport. The city has been the home of YouTube, the world’s largest online video site, for more than a decade. It’s the northern border of Silicon Valley and is also home to a major Walmart e-commerce office.

As the incident started, a Google employee at a nearby complex to the YouTube office said several police sirens were heard around the office and colleagues inside of the building were texting them updates. Videos and photos posted to Snapchat showed police officers running into the YouTube offices. People were also seen evacuating the offices in a line with their hands up in the air, according to the videos. Television reports showed police officers patting down people who had left the building to check for weapons.

Across the nation, the gun control debate has gained increasing attention from voters and legislators in the wake of the February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Congress recently bolstered the federal background check system for gun purchases as part of a larger spending bill and an additional report clarified that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could study the causes of gun violence. Additional measures have been passed at the state level.

An FBI study of active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013 found that only six such cases, or 3.8 percent, involved a female shooter. Among the 160 shootings the study focused on, 23 occurred in business environments, and in 22 of those, the shooter worked for or had worked for the company targeted. Two of those shooters were women. In 40 percent of the total incidents studied, the shooter committed suicide.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-03/police-investigating-reports-of-shooter-at-youtube-campus

Trump Suggests Bonuses for Gun-Trained Teachers, Praises the NRA

President Donald Trump called for paying bonuses to teachers who carry guns in the classroom, embracing a controversial proposal to curb school shootings hours after offering a full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Trump told state and local officials gathered at the White House on Thursday to discuss school safety that “you can’t hire enough security guards” and teachers could carry concealed weapons and “nobody would know who they are.” He said that teachers would go through “rigorous training” and could get “a little bit of a bonus.”

His support for arming educators comes a week after the massacre of 17 people at a high school in Florida. The president and lawmakers are now struggling to respond to public demands for action, mindful of the clout gun-rights enthusiasts hold in the Republican Party, which controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.

Guns in America

The NRA, which has been one of the most powerful political opponents to gun control, received lavish praise from Trump just minutes before its chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. LaPierre proceeded to blast school officials, local law enforcement and the FBI for failing to prevent school shootings.

It was a jarring contrast for Trump just a day after his emotional meeting with students and parents affected by recent school massacres. Earlier Thursday morning, before a tweet praising the NRA, Trump went the furthest he’s ever gone on gun control, saying he’d push for tougher background checks that screen for mental health, raising the minimum age of buyers to 21, and ending the sale of bump stocks.

Trump also suggested to local officials at the White House meeting that schools concentrate more on hardening facilities to withstand rifle fire. But he opposed mandating active shooting drills — which have become increasingly common — saying that rehearsing for a possibly violent event could upset students.

“Active shooter drills is a very negative thing, have to be honest with you,” Trump said, “I’d much rather have a hardened school.” He added that he wouldn’t want his son to be told he was going through an active shooter drill. “I think it’s very bad for children.”

White House spokesman Raj Shah later said that Trump only opposes using the term “active shooter drill” because it could be frightening, and suggested schools instead use the term “safety drill.”

Children’s exposure to violence on the Internet and in video games and movies also may be contributing to the shootings, Trump added. “Their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” he said.

LaPierre called for more armed security at schools and criticized the notion of making schools “gun-free zones,” which he said are targets for potential shooters, echoing comments Trump has made.

The NRA chief lashed out at Democrats including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has long pushed for tighter gun laws, for “politicizing” the Florida shooting. He said “elites” want to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”

“They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI,” LaPierre said.

The NRA is one of the biggest spenders in elections, ranking 9th among all outside groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2016, the NRA’s political arms spent $54.4 million influencing elections, Federal Election Commission records show, including $19.8 million attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and $11.4 million promoting Trump. The NRA also spent $500,000 or more on 7 Senate races, including in battleground states Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trump was endorsed by the NRA and has routinely touted his support for the organization, and his campaign said he opposed expanding the background check system or imposing new restrictions on gun and magazine bans. Trump is expected to speak at the CPAC event on Friday.

Trump conferred with the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, over the weekend in the aftermath of the Florida shooting, Shah said.

Gun stocks rose Thursday after declining the two prior days. Shares in American Outdoor Brands Corp. rose 2.8 percent to $10.34 and Sturm Ruger & Co. was up 5 percent to $49.55 at 1:30 p.m. New York time.

Background Checks

While Trump said he would push “comprehensive background checks” with an emphasis on mental health, an Obama-era gun rule aimed at preventing people with serious mental illness from buying guns was one of the first targets of Republicans in Congress last year. Lawmakers used a special procedure under the Congressional Review Act to do away with the rule.

Trump announced Tuesday he would propose regulations to ban “bump stocks” used to allow semi-automatic rifles to fire like automatic weapons. He signaled support for bipartisan legislation to improve data collection for the federal gun-sale background check system.

Trump said he called many lawmakers Wednesday evening to discuss background checks and that many prior opponents of toughening them have changed their minds.

But the president isn’t ready to back any specific legislation yet, Shah said. Instead Trump “is proposing ideas, he’s listening right now,” Shah said.

Click here for more on the debate over guns in America.

His support for arming teachers would eliminate the gun-free zones in and around schools enshrined in a nearly three-decade-old federal law.

Trump said in a tweet earlier Thursday that 20 percent of teachers “would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.”

The idea prompted sharp rebukes from some Democrats and misgivings from at least one prominent Republican.

Murphy said on CNN that the proposal was “a recipe for disaster,” adding that there was no evidence that it would prevent shootings.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, told a CNN town hall meeting on Wednesday that he opposed arming teachers.

Trump on Thursday tried to explain his rationale for arming school staff members. “History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes,” Trump tweeted. “It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!”

“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” Trump wrote.

Trump has signaled support for a bipartisan Senate bill that would strengthen current laws requiring federal agencies to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The House passed a similar bill in December, but added legislation that would require states to recognize concealed carry licenses from other states. House conservatives would likely balk at separating the two issues, while the House version of the bill would likely fail in the Senate.

A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday found 97 percent support for universal background checks, while 67 percent backed a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, which operates Bloomberg News, serves as a member of Everytown for Gun Safety’s advisory board and is a donor to the group. Everytown for Gun Safety advocates for universal background checks and other gun control measures.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-21/trump-hears-stories-from-shooting-victims-in-remarkable-meeting

    Opioid Billionaire’s Indictment Opens New Window on Epidemic

    More than a decade after opioid painkillers first exploded across the U.S., John Kapoor found an aggressive way to sell even more, according to prosecutors: He began bribing doctors to prescribe them.

    Speakers’ fees, dinners, entertainment, cash — federal charges unsealed Thursday claim Kapoor’s striving company, Insys Therapeutics Inc., employed all of that and more to spur prescriptions of a highly addictive fentanyl-based drug intended only for cancer patients.

    As President Donald Trump declared at a White House event that opioid abuse represents a public-health emergency, authorities arrested Kapoor in Arizona and painted a stark portrait of how Insys allegedly worked hand in glove with doctors to expand the market for the powerful agents.

    “Selling a highly addictive opioid-cancer pain drug to patients who did not have cancer makes them no better than street-level drug dealers,” Harold Shaw, the top FBI agent in Boston, said of Kapoor and other Insys executives charged earlier in the case.

    The story of the 74-year-old billionaire and the company he founded traces the arc of a crisis that claims 175 lives each day. What began with the over-prescription of painkillers in the late 1990s soon became a race by manufacturers to dispense more and more pills.

    Overdose Risks

    Charged with racketeering conspiracy and other felonies, Kapoor became the highest-ranking pharma executive to be accused of an opioid-related crime, and his arrest may portend charges against companies far larger than Insys, which has a modest $417 million market capitalization.

    In Connecticut, prosecutors have begun a criminal probe of Purdue Pharmaceutical Inc.’s marketing of OxyContin. Scores of states, cities and counties have sued companies including Purdue, Endo International Plc, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging they triggered the opioid epidemic by minimizing the addiction and overdose risks of painkillers such as Percocet.

    But so far, no recent case has been so sweeping as the one against the executives including Kapoor, who made his initial court appearance late Thursday in Phoenix. A U.S. magistrate judge set bail at $1 million and ordered Kapoor to surrender his passport and submit to electronic monitoring. His lawyer, Brian Kelly, said Kapoor posted bail after the hearing.

    This week, a Rhode Island doctor admitted accepting kickbacks from Insys in exchange for writing prescriptions. Earlier this year, two doctors were sentenced to more than 20 years behind bars for accepting bribes from companies including Insys to sell fentanyl-based medications.

    The Kapoor indictment pinpoints the start of the alleged scheme.

    Oral Spray

    It was early 2012, and Insys’s new oral spray of the opioid fentanyl wasn’t selling well. Because it was so addictive, the pain-relief drug was subject to a tightly controlled distribution system, and regulators demanded to be notified about suspicious orders by manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacies. And the drug wasn’t cheap, so insurers set up barriers for patients seeking it.

    That was when Kapoor and others at Insys went to extremes to dramatically boost sales of the painkiller, prosecutors said. Doling out speaker fees, marketing payments and food and entertainment perks, they allegedly began bribing doctors to prescribe the drug, and then tricked insurers into paying for it.

    One Insys sales executive told subordinates that it didn’t matter whether doctors were entertaining, according to the indictment: “They do not need to be good speakers, they need to write a lot of” Subsys prescriptions, the official said, referring to the brand name of the painkiller.

    Over a two-year period starting in 2013, Chandler, Arizona-based Insys set aside more than $12.2 million for doctors’ speaking fees, prosecutors said. One doctor received as much as $229,640 in speaker fees for appearing at what amounted to “sham events that were mere social gatherings also attended by friends and office staff,” according to the indictment.

    Friends, Family

    The company encouraged doctors to write more prescriptions by hiring their friends and family members to serve as “business liaisons’’ and “business-relation managers,’’ prosecutors said. These support-staff employees worked in the doctors’ offices but were paid by Insys in what the indictment called bribes and kickbacks.

    Insys even made a video featuring a sales rep dressed as a giant fentanyl spray bottle, rapping and dancing to a song that pushed the idea of getting doctors to prescribe higher doses, prosecutors said.

    Others previously charged include Michael Babich, Insys’s former CEO, Alec Burlakoff, the ex-vice president of sales, and Richard Simon, once the company’s national sales director. They all deny wrongdoing.

    Joe McGrath, an Insys spokesman, declined to comment on Kapoor’s indictment in Boston federal court. The company, which wasn’t charged, has reportedly been in settlement talks with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve a probe into its Subsys marketing. The company’s shares fell more than 22 percent to $5.74 in Nasdaq trading.

    The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco Takes On the Opioid Industry

    The first person in his family to attend college, Kapoor rose from modest means in India to become a wealthy health-care entrepreneur, after earning a doctorate in medicinal chemistry at the University of Buffalo in 1972, according to a work-history the school posted.

    He was a plant manager at Invenex Laboratories in New York and later became chief executive officer of LyphoMed, a hospital-products company. He sold LyphoMed to Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals and formed a venture capital firm that invested in health-care companies.

    In 2010, he merged privately held Insys with NeoPharm Inc. to get access to technology to develop pain drugs for cancer patients. Even though he has stepped down as Insys’s chairman and chief executive officer, he still holds more than 60 percent of its stock.

    Kapoor and Babich are also accused of misleading insurers about patients’ diagnoses and the types of pain they suffered that were covered by the Subsys prescriptions tied to the payment scheme, prosecutors said.

    The company’s agents allegedly told insurers that patients were receiving Subsys for “breakthrough pain’’ to secure coverage. They also misled insurers about what other pain drugs patients had tried before being proscribed Subsys, according to the indictment.

    Some lower-level Insys employees have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors, according to court papers. Elizabeth Gurrieri, a former manager who oversaw insurance reimbursements, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud in June.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-26/insys-therapeutics-founder-charged-in-opioid-fraud-case