YouTube HQ shooter's brother issued a chilling warning to police before attack
Yesterday, just before 1 pm local time, shots were fired at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, Northern California. Three people were injured in the attack: a 36-year-old man, who is said to be in a critical condition, and two women aged 32 and 27.
Nasim Aghdam, the woman who fired the shots, was the only fatality. She killed herself after injuring the others.
At first, it was believed that Aghdam had been motivated by a domestic dispute, but San Bruno police later disclosed that "at this time, there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted."
Now, after statements from her family, it is believed that she attacked the office out of vengeance.
According to Aghdam's father, YouTube "stopped everything and now she has no income." They claim that she had been a longtime user of the site, but that her content had been restricted somehow, and she was losing her livelihood as a result. This was causing her a significant amount of distress, to the extent that her family believed she might do something irrational as a result.
Her brother even warned law enforcement that she might be planning an attack.
"She had a problem with YouTube. We called the cops and told them there’s a reason she went from San Diego to that, so she might do something," he said;
"I didn’t know she had a gun. I didn’t know she’d start a fight. The cop told us they’d keep an eye on her.
"After 12 hours the shooting happened. She got killed, the other three people got hurt. I did my best to avoid it but looks like the cops didn’t do their job."
He reports that she once told him: "YouTube screwed up my life."
On her website and social media accounts, Aghdam claimed that the video hosting platform was discriminating against her because of her advocacy for animal rights and veganism.
"Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!" she wrote;
"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!"
Police in Mountain View, which is just southeast of San Bruno, reported that they had earlier found Aghdam sleeping in her car. They confirmed her identity and notified her family of where she was, but no further action was taken.
"According to our report, at no point in our contact with the woman did she indicate she was a threat to herself or others," the Mountain View police spokesperson said.
Chris Dale, a spokesperson for YouTube, thanked the police for their swift response to the incident.
"Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube and all of the employees were victims of this crime. Our hearts go out to those who suffered in this particular attack," he said.
Donald Trump also commented on the shooting, saying in a tweet: "Was just briefed on the shooting at YouTube’s HQ in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene."
Obviously, this violent incident raises further questions about gun control in the states - something which has been a topic of divisive debate since the Parkland shooting last month.