A shooting was reported at YouTube’s California headquarters on Tuesday (April 3). According to reports, three people are critically injured while the shooter killed herself. The shooter has been identified as Nasim Aghdam, who previously ranted against YouTube. Here’s what you need to know about the shooter.
Who Is Nasim Aghdam?
Police identified the shooter who stormed YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California on Tuesday as Nasim Najafi Aghdam. She would have turned 39 on April 5.
The San Diego native reportedly used a 9mm handgun to wound a man and two women before she died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Aghdam was active on various social media outlets, particularly YouTube. She had at least four YouTube channels, including one on vegan cooking.
The Persian woman ranted several times against the Google-owned site. She was angry that YouTube “demonetized” her channels. In a video, she accused YouTube of filtering her channels to keep her from getting views.
In her rant, she claimed that YouTube censored one of her videos for inappropriate content, but didn’t do so for videos by Miley Cyrus or Nicki Minaj. She said these artists have more inappropriate content than hers.
On her website, she wrote a blurb which reads like a manifesto: “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
Her Father Said She Was Angry at YouTube
While the investigation is ongoing, it’s not known if Aghdam’s hostility against YouTube is the motive behind the shooting.
Her channels and videos have been scrubbed off the site. Even her Instagram and Facebook pages have been taken down.
After the shooting, her father, Ismail Aghdam, spoke to the media. He said that she was missing for a few days before the shooting. He reportedly called police about her disappearance because he was concerned about her anger towards YouTube.
Ismail said his daughter was always complaining that YouTube discriminated against her. She reportedly felt cheated by the video-sharing giant.
Aghdam reportedly worked for her father’s electrical company, and owned a charity called Peace Thunder.
She Was an Activist for Animal Rights
Besides being a major advocate of veganism, she was a staunch animal rights activist. She reportedly boasted of starring in the first Persian vegan TV commercial, and a vegan music video.
On her website, she shared graphic videos about animal cruelty. The videos were heavily censored by YouTube and Instagram, where she posted them, because of their disturbing content.
In 2009, she was part of a protest against the use of pigs in military training.
Among her activism, she also raised questions about freedom of speech. On her Instagram, she once posted a video asking her followers if freedom of speech exists in western countries.
One of Her Victims Was Suspected to Be Her Boyfriend
Reports state that Aghdam’s victims include a 36-year-old man who was in critical condition, and two women aged 32 and 27. The older woman was said to be in serious condition, while the 27-year-old is reportedly in fair condition.
Authorities are still investigating Aghdam’s motive to go on a rampage. Investigators don’t believe this is a case of terrorism at this point.
While it may appear that she was a disgruntled YouTube user, investigators are looking at this as a possible domestic dispute incident.
According to some reports, the man wounded in the shooting was Aghdam’s boyfriend. Reports claim that he was Aghdam’s target.
An MSNBC reporter said, “What the authorities are telling us is that this woman came to the YouTube workplace with a specific target in mind – someone she knew … someone with whom she wanted to settle a grievance. She shot that person.”
However, it was later revealed that “At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”
Aghdam’s motives have yet to be established and more details on the incident are awaited.