The Latest: Officials ID suspect in YouTube shooting as Nasim Aghdam. https://t.co/pUUxRf50ke— The Associated Press (@AP) April 4, 2018
The suspect in a shooting at YouTube headquarters has been identified as Nasim Aghdam of Southern California, the Associated Press reports, citing an anonymous law enforcement official.
The woman was reported to be in her late 30s. Her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group that his daughter was furious with YouTube because it stopped paying her for videos she posted on her social media channel.
Aghdam’s online profile shows she was a vegan activist. She had a website called NasimeSabz.com, which translates into “green breeze” in Persian, where she posted about veganism and the Persian culture. She also wrote long passages criticizing YouTube. She was also an advocate of animal welfare and quoted in a 2009 story in San Diego Union-Tribune about a protest by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals against the use of pigs in military trauma training.
"For me, animal rights equal human rights,” she said.
YouTube closed down Aghdam’s account following the shooting. Her Instagram and Facebook accounts were also removed.
A screenshot of a video posted on her YouTube channel showed Aghdam complained about “YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views.”
Aghdam’s father said he reported his daughter missing on Monday after she did not pick up her phone for two days. He said his family finally received a call from Mountain View police at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, saying they found her sleeping in a car. According to the elderly man, he said he warned the police his daughter might be heading to YouTube because she “hated” the company.
Police spokesman Katie Nelson said the woman in the car, who had the same name, refused to answer further questions by the police.
Earlier on Tuesday, authorities said the shooting was probably as a result of domestic dispute but later, San Bruno police said “there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”
Police did not release any further information on the suspect or comment on her possible motives for the shooting rampage at the Silicon Valley offices of YouTube, a service owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google.
The shooting had no known connection to terrorism, a U.S. government security official told Reuters.
A YouTube product manager, Todd Sherman, described on Twitter hearing people running, first thinking it was an earthquake before he was told that a person had a gun.
“At that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter. Someone else said that the person shot out the back doors and then shot themselves,” Sherman said on Twitter.
“I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Peaked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front,” Sherman said.
Responding to the report of gunfire, police officers entered the building and located at least four people with gunshots, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said at a news conference. One of them, a woman with a self-inflicted wound, was dead, he said, and she was believed to be the shooter.
One of the victims, a 36-year-old man, was listed in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. A 32-year-old woman was listed in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition. Authorities did not release names of the victims.
Google said on Twitter that it was coordinating with local authorities. YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki declined to comment to reporters as she left the building.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene.”
Dozens of emergency vehicles quickly converged on the YouTube campus, and police could be seen on televised aerial video systematically frisking several employees leaving the area with their hands raised.
Last month, YouTube announced it would ban content promoting the sale of guns and gun accessories as well as videos that teach how to make guns.
Female mass shooters are rare. A recent Washington Post analysis shows only three out of 150 U.S. shootings with more than four victims since 1966 were done by women. In 2015, a husband and wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Toby Melville