YouTube Shooting Suspect Nasim Aghdam ‘Hated’ the Company, Called It a ‘Dictatorship’ Online
Family says they warned police that Nasim Aghdam may be heading for the tech giant’s campus after claiming YouTube had ‘ruined her life.’
The woman who shot three people at YouTube headquarters “hated” the company, according to her father, and ranted about it as a “dictatorship” online.
Nasim Aghdam’s dad told the Bay Area News Group that he had warned police officers his daughter might be headed for the YouTube campus when she was reported missing by the family this week.
Aghdam’s father and brother said she had become enraged at YouTube, believing that it had censored her videos and cut off her income from the site. “She was angry,” her father, Ismail Aghdam, said.
Her brother, Shahran Aghdam, told reporters outside the family’s home in Riverside County, California: “She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life.”
Before the shooting, Aghdam’s family said she was an animal-welfare activist and vegan campaigner who had never hurt a living thing.
On Tuesday though, she opened fire in the courtyard outside YouTube’s offices in San Bruno, California. Three people were wounded before she turned the legally registered 9mm pistol on herself, police said.
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital said Wednesday that one patient remains hospitalized in serious condition. Two others were released, the hospital said, and all are expected to survive.
San Bruno police chief Ed Barberini said Wednesday that the suspect was reported missing by her family on March 31. Early Tuesday morning, April 2, she was found in Mountain View by police.
Aghdam’s brother said he feared she may do something dangerous.
“I Googled ‘Mountain View’ and it was close to YouTube headquarters. And she had a problem with Youtube," the brother told KGTV. “So I called that cop again and told him there’s a reason she went all the way from San Diego to there, so she might do something.”
A police spokeswoman told the AP they had called her family to let them know she was safe, but did not comment on the claims they were warned about her ultimate destination.
Hours later, she visited a local gun range, Barberini said. Around 1 p.m., she opened fire at YouTube.
“So they didn't do anything, and she got killed,” her brother said.
Law enforcement officials initially said the incident was being investigated as a domestic dispute, but Barberini said Wednesday suspect was upset with “policies and practices of YouTube. This is believed to be the motive of this incident.”
There are no other suspects or no nexus to terrorism, he added.
The New York Times reported Aghdam was active on social-media including YouTube, where she posted videos on animal welfare and veganism as well as workout videos and music-video parodies.
The Times reported she posted a Facebook video claiming YouTube was “discriminating and censoring us.”
A message on YouTube pages in her name says they have been taken down due to “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy.”
The Los Angeles Times cited a law-enforcement official saying investigators were examining a website that appears to be in Aghdam’s name claiming that her videos had been suppressed by YouTube, which is described as a "dictatorship."
“Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” the site reads. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that law-enforcement officials confirmed that Aghdam was, in the words of the newspaper, “a disgruntled video-maker.”
The paper reported Aghdam had posted on Instagram on March 18 to criticize YouTube, claiming the site works to “censor and suppress people who speak the truth and are not good for the financial, political gains of the system and big businesses.”
Aghdam’s family said they arrived in California from Iran in 1996. Her brother said Nasim had been living in San Diego with her grandfather. She disappeared Saturday and the family reported her missing Monday after she had not returned phone calls.