Police: Shooter was upset with YouTube ‘policies’

Police and sheriff's deputies stand outside YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., on Tuesday after a shooter opened fire and wounded three people before killing herself, officials said. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

April 4 (UPI) — The woman who killed herself after wounding three people in a shooting attack at YouTube’s California headquarters had disagreed with the company’s policies, authorities said Wednesday.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said at a press conference Wednesday Nasim Najafi Aghdam launched the attack because she’d become “upset” with YouTube policies and practices.

Aghdam entered the YouTube offices through a parking garage and began shooting in an open courtyard, Barberini said. She remained there throughout the shooting.

Three people were injured. A fourth suffered an ankle injury escaping the gunfire.

The wounded are 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. They were being treated at a San Francisco hospital.

Police said Aghdam had no link or relationship to anyone at YouTube, and said they are reviewing surveillance tape from the campus. Barberini also said no ties to terrorism have been found.

“No one goes to work thinking this will happen to them,” San Bruno Mayor Rico Medina said Wednesday. “But it did.”

Police said Aghdam died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Her father, Ismail Aghdam, said she’d told her family weeks ago that she was “angry” with YouTube and accused it of censoring her videos.

Ismail Aghdam said before the attack, the family had reported their daughter missing in Southern California and had informed police she might be headed to YouTube because she “hated” the site. But, he said, he wasn’t aware she owned a gun.

After receiving the missing persons report, authorities found Nasim Aghdam asleep in her car and informed the family everything was “under control.”

Relatives say the 39-year-old woman was a vegan and animal activist. She once created a charity to “educate people about animal cruelty, environmental pollution.”

Interviewed by The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009 at a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protest, Nasim Aghdam told the newspaper, “For me, animal rights equal human rights.”

Aghdam was active on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, on which she posted workout videos, graphic animal abuse videos and vegan cooking tutorials. Most of the pages were taken down late Tuesday.

In a March 18 post, an Instagram page attributed to Aghdam complained that YouTube videos were being suppressed and the site was being discriminatory.

“All my YouTube channels got filtered by YouTube so my videos hardly get views and it is called ‘merely relegation.’ This is also happening to many other channels on YouTube,” the post said. “This is the peaceful tactic used on the Internet to censor and suppress people who speak the truth and are not good for the financial, political … gains of the system and big businesses. I recently got filtered on Instagram too and maybe it’s related to YouTube and YouTube staff asked Instagram to filter me here too!!?”

Brother Shahran Aghdam told reporters his sister “was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life.”


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