YouTube shooter visited gun range hours earlier
The woman who killed herself after shooting multiple people at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno on Tuesday afternoon had visited a local gun range earlier that day, the city’s police chief said Wednesday.
Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound by officers who responded to a shooting reported at 12:46 p.m. at the popular video company’s headquarters at 901 Cherry Ave., San Bruno police Chief Ed Barberini said at a news conference this morning.
Three people at the campus were struck by the gunfire and were taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, while a fourth suffered an injured ankle while evacuating, Barberini said.
Of the three shooting victims — two women ages 27 and 32 and a 36-year-old man — the two women were discharged from the hospital Tuesday night while the male victim has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, hospital officials said this morning.
Barberini said investigators have determined Aghdam visited a local gun range earlier on Tuesday, but declined to identify the business.
He said officers at the scene recovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun that was registered to Aghdam.
Investigators have processed the entire scene at the YouTube campus and are serving search warrants at two Southern California residences associated with the suspect.
Aghdam had been reported missing last week by her family in San Diego County but was spotted sleeping in her car in Mountain View around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday in a parking lot in the 600 block of Showers Drive, Mountain View police said in a statement Wednesday morning.
Police said Aghdam cooperated with officers during the encounter and said she had decided to leave her family’s home “due to family issues,” and had come to the Bay Area to look for her a job.
Mountain View police said that during the 20-minute encounter, she did not mention YouTube or any plans to harm herself or others, and was “calm and cooperative.”
Mountain View police talked by phone with Aghdam’s father and brother and the family confirmed there had been issues at home, but did not mention any potential threat or that she may have been in possession of any weapons.
Aghdam’s father called back about an hour later to tell police that Aghdam had “made a series of vegan videos for her channel on YouTube and that the company had recently done something to her videos that had caused her to become upset,” police said.
“He did not seem concerned that she was in the area, and wanted to simply let us know that may have been a reason for her move up here,” police said.
Barberini, the San Bruno chief, confirmed that the shooting appeared to be related to Aghdam being upset over “policies and practices” regarding her YouTube account, but said the investigation is ongoing.
He said she did not appear to have any connection to any of the victims or other employees at the YouTube campus.
San Bruno Mayor Rico Medina said the city “is no stranger to a crisis,” a reference to the deadly PG&E pipeline explosion in 2010, and thanked first responders and YouTube for their response to Tuesday’s shooting.
“Our hearts and thoughts are still with the victims. … No one goes to work thinking that this is what will happen to them.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote on Twitter later Tuesday:
“There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter at YouTube. Our hearts go out to all those injured and impacted. … We will come together to heal as a family.”