Police said that the woman who believed she was being suppressed by YouTube and told her family members she “hated” the company opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in California, wounding three people before taking her own life.
Investigators do not believe Nasim Aghdam specifically targeted the three victims when she pulled out a handgun and fired off several rounds in a courtyard at the company’s headquarters south of San Francisco on Tuesday, said Police
But a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that Aghdam had a longstanding dispute with the company.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online.
A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.
One of the messages on the site said, “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
Aghdam “hated” YouTube and was angry that the company stopped paying her for videos she posted on the platform, her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group.
On Monday, he called police to report his daughter missing after she didn’t answer the phone for two days and warned officers that she might go to YouTube, he said.
Officers in Mountain View — about 48 kilometres from YouTube’s headquarters — found her sleeping in her car in a parking lot around 2 a.m. Tuesday but let her go after she refused to answer their questions. Aghdam didn’t appear to be a threat to herself or others, police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said.
YouTube employee Dianna Arnspiger said she was on the building’s second floor when she heard gunshots, ran to a window and saw the shooter on a patio outside.
“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, ‘Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” Arnspiger said.
Officers discovered one victim with a gunshot wound when they arrived and then found the shooter with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound several minutes later, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. He said two additional gunshot victims were later located at an adjacent business.