San Francisco, CA – A woman who was reportedly angry at YouTube opened fire at the company’s San Bruno, California headquarters on Tuesday, April 3. Nasim Aghdam, 39, shot and wounded three people before committing suicide, according to police, who said they recovered a handgun registered to Aghdam at the scene.
Police say Aghdam had been to a shooting range prior to the attack at YouTube headquarters.
Authorities don’t believe that Aghdam had a direct connection to YouTube, but it was revealed that she did have a YouTube channel. During a press conference on April 3, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said that Aghdam’s motive appeared to be her frustration with YouTube.
“It is believed that the suspect was upset with the policies and practices of YouTube. This appears to be the motive for this incident,” San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters.
The Iranian-born woman, who lived in California, reportedly blogged about veganism and railed against YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, according to numerous social media posts and her website. Aghdam reportedly suspected that YouTube was suppressing her content, causing her to lose views and money.
Reuters reported that Aghdam did not appear to have targeted particular victims when she opened fire with a hand gun at the open-air plaza. In an English-language video posted to her YouTube account before the channel was deleted on Tuesday, Aghdam said, “I am being discriminated. I am being filtered on YouTube.”
“There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can hardly see their videos! There is no equal growth opportunity on YouTube or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!” read a blurb on her website.
The New York Times noted that Aghdam’s videos had gained popularity in Iran, with many of her videos going viral there. Aghdam was reportedly known as “Green Nasim” in the country and was well known on additional social media platforms including Instagram.
Two victims have been released from the hospital, while one individual remains in San Francisco General Hospital in serious condition on Wednesday, according to the hospital.
Aghdam’s father, Ismail Aghdam, spoke with Mercury News after Tuesday’s shooting. The father confirmed that his daughter had been missing for two days prior to the shooting, and told the outlet that on Tuesday, April 3, around 2 a.m., Mountain View police located his daughter, who had been “sleeping in her car.”
The New York Times reported that Aghdam spent about 20 minutes being interviewed by police, and that she was in the area because she was looking for a job.
“At no point during our roughly 20-minute interaction with her did she mention anything about YouTube, if she was upset with them, or that she had planned to harm herself or others,” the Mountain View police said in a statement. “Throughout our entire interaction with her, she was calm and cooperative.”
Aghdam’s father reportedly made a second call that cautioned that YouTube recently “had caused her to become upset” and suggested this as a reason for her to be in the area.