The woman accused of shooting and injuring three people at the YouTube headquarters before shooting and killing herself has been identified as a YouTube content creator who reportedly blamed the company for making her lose money from her videos.
Washington Post reports that the shooter has been identified as 39-year-old Nasim Aghdam, an animal rights vegan originally from Iran who reportedly blamed “close-minded” YouTube employees for restricting her videos which ultimately hurt her monetization. Police indicated that Aghdam was not an employee of YouTube, but instead worked for her father’s electrical company.
Police said Aghdam opened fire in the outside courtyard area of YouTube headquarters at 901 Cherry Ave. in San Bruno, California, on Tuesday afternoon, wounding three people with gunshot wounds before turning a handgun on herself. A fourth person was injured during the incident but wasn’t shot.
While the suspect died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the victims, as of Wednesday, are all alive. A 36-year-old male victim remains in critical condition at the San Francisco General Hospital, according to police spokesperson, Brent Andrew. Two women, ages 32 and 27, are also at the hospital, with the 32-year-old listed in critical condition. The 27-year-old is listed in fair condition.
#BREAKING: Sources say YouTube shooter is Nasim Aghdam, a user of the platform. She has a website with a manifesto that targets YouTube for censorship and demonetization of her video content. MORE –> https://t.co/SkurcrZ0cQ @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/BT3OLgydaQ
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) April 4, 2018
Despite earlier witness statements indicating that the suspect shot at an alleged boyfriend, authorities said they’ve found no evidence that she had a boyfriend at YouTube and that none of the victims knew the shooter.
“At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted,” police said.
Aghdam reportedly blamed YouTube for controlling her videos by placing age restrictions on her content. She claimed there was no “free speech” which ultimately prevented her from making money from her videos.
“There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system,”Aghdam wrote. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!!”
Almost of all the alleged shooter’s videos, which included content in English, Turkish, and Farsi, were removed by Tuesday evening. YouTube cited “multiple or severe violations” for taking the videos down. As part of YouTube’s policies, videos containing controversial material, profanity, or sexually suggestive content are at risk of being restricted and/or removed.
According the The Mercury News, the suspect’s father, Ismail Aghdam, said his daughter was upset and angry that YouTube continued to allegedly cut back the revenue she made on the site by censoring her content. He said that the suspect had been missing since Saturday and the family feared she may have had plans to go to YouTube due to her hatred of the company.
The family reported her missing but when officers found her sleeping in her car on Tuesday morning, they called off the search for her and let her go. The family said officers told them they would “keep an eye on her.”
“Our officers made contact with the woman after the license plate of her vehicle matched that of a missing person out of Southern California,” Mountain View Police spokeswoman Katie Nelson told The Mercury News. “The woman confirmed her identity to us and answered subsequent questions. At the conclusion of our discussion, her family was notified that she had been located.”
The suspect’s brother, Shahran Aghdam, echoed his father’s sentiments and said Aghdam was angry with YouTube.
“She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life.”
On her website, Aghdam complained of receiving only .10 for 300K views on her content. She blamed it on “close-minded” employees who reportedly started filtering and censoring her content around 2016. She claimed the alleged censorship ultimately hurt views on her channel, which she wrote decreased significantly within the past few years.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Nasim Aghdam/Handout]