Shooting at YouTube headquarters leaves three wounded

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Yesterday around lunchtime, a female shooter walked into YouTube’s headquarters and began firing at employees, wounding three people. Employees working at the San Bruno headquarters quickly called 911 after hearing gunshots in the building. According to a San Bruno police report, officers responded to the situation minutes after receiving the call, and began evacuating employees from the building, several of whom had gunshots wounds. Of the three wounded employees, one is in fair condition, another in serious condition, and the third in critical condition.

Once the evacuation took place, officers entered the building to find the deceased shooter who was identified as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year old woman from San Diego who died from an apparent self-inflicted wound. While early reports stated that she was attempting to shoot her boyfriend, there has been no evidence supporting this claim, nor any evidence that she knew any of the victims. Police stated that there has, however, been evidence that Aghdam had a long-standing grudge against YouTube. Police believe the anger she held for the company to be the motive behind the shooting.

The father of Aghdam, Ismail Aghfam, told the Mercury Sun that she had complained to the family that YouTube was “censoring” her videos, along with demonetizing her content. She was very active on her personal YouTube channel, releasing videos about her strict vegan lifestyle, and making bizarre music video parodies. Her brother Shahran Aghdam said “she was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life,” and submitted a missing persons report after she ran away from home on March 31.

The night before the shooting, police found Aghdam sleeping in her car, and questioned her for roughly 20 minutes. She allegedly told the officers she left home due to family problems and was out searching for a job. According to San Bruno police chief Ed Barberini, Aghdam went to a gun range the morning of the attack, and used a gun registered under her own name in the shooting.

In a post written on a personal website, she said “There is no free speech in real world [and] you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system. There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want [it] to!!!!!”

In the aftermath of the attack, there has been an outpouring of support from major tech companies and executives involved with YouTube. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, said in a statement that he was “grateful to everyone inside and outside the company for the outpouring of support and best wishes. I know a lot of you are in shock right now. Over the coming days, we will continue to provide support to help everyone in our Google family heal from this unimaginable tragedy.”

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