Police have identified Nasim Aghdam as the woman who opened fire at YouTube’s San Bruno headquarters yesterday afternoon, injuring three people before killing herself.
Aghdam’s family has said that they made their concerns known to authorities hours before the shooting happened. They reported her missing to the police over the weekend after she stopped answering their phone calls, and police officers found her asleep in her car in the early hours of Tuesday, April 3rd in Mountain View — several hundred miles from Aghdam’s San Diego-area residence. Her family was told of her whereabouts and they became increasingly worried that she was in the Bay Area to do something drastic.
Aghdam was a YouTube content creator who uploaded a variety of videos about veganism, animal rights, and exercising. She was especially popular in Iran where several of her “colorful and at-times bizarre videos” have gone viral.
As YouTube began changing some of their practices and policies, some of Aghdam’s videos were de-monetized and filtered out as “age-restricted content”. As early as 2016, Aghdam began accusing the video-sharing platform of censoring her and trying to suppress her view count.
After police found Aghdam near the YouTube campus early Tuesday morning, Aghdam’s family alerted the authorities about her growing hostility toward the company.
BREAKING: Just spoke to the father of Nasim Aghdam. He says his daughter had been missing for several days. When cops found her in NorCal last night, he warned them she was angry with YouTube. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/mgCw9ivqos
— Tina Patel (@tina_patel) April 4, 2018
In a press release on Wednesday, Mountain View Police acknowledged and confirmed their communications with Aghdam’s family. They clarified, however, that neither Aghdam’s father or brother told them “anything about potential acts of violence or a possibility of Aghdam lashing out as a result of her issues with her videos.”
In a subsequent press conference with the San Bruno Police also on Wednesday, Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters that Aghdam had visited a shooting range on Tuesday morning, and described the weapon she used as a Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter handgun that she legally purchased.
San Bruno police chief says YouTube shooting suspect "legally possessed and owned" her weapon and she "was at the gun range early the morning of the incident" https://t.co/UlmQkhqMJl pic.twitter.com/akf73n571M
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 4, 2018
Aghdam shot and wounded three people — a fourth was injured while fleeing the scene but was not shot — before killing herself. Two of the gunshot victims were treated and allowed to go home, but the third victim remains hospitalized at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital in serious condition.
Social media companies were quick to act in removing the shooter’s accounts across various platforms. YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki also sent out a tweet about the incident yesterday:
There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter @YouTube today. Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family.
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) April 4, 2018