Shooting at YouTube headquarters
A woman opened fire at the YouTube Headquarters this Tuesday, April 3, wounding three before fatally shooting herself. The suspect, later identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39 of San Diego, entered YouTube’s campus courtyard located in San Bruno CA, near San Fransisco, with frustrations over the company’s policies, according to a CNN report.
The active YouTube user then proceeded to shoot at random, injur- ing three employees. A spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital told CBS News that those injured include a 36-year-old man in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition.
In the chaos of the attack, hundreds evacuated the headquarters, which is home to over 1,100 employees, who work as engineers, content creators and in advertising. “First we thought it was an Earthquake” tweeted YouTube product manager, Todd Sherman. “We were sitting in a meeting and then we heard people running because it was rumbling the floor” his post reads.
While the suspect appeared to have no connection with the victims or those shot at, it was later revealed that she did have mal intent toward the com- pany. “We know she was upset with YouTube, and now we’ve determined that was the motive” explained San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini in a statement.
Aghdam, who according to NBC was an “extremist vegan” and “longtime animal rights activist” had previously expressed her anger towards the company which she believed was discriminating against her. “YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views,” Aghdam wrote on her website.
According to a CNN news report, after being reported missing by her Family on Monday, Aghdam was found early Tuesday morning sleeping in her car in Mountain View, CA, 25 miles south of San Bruno. She was then questioned by police, but appeared “calm and collected” neither mentioning YouTube nor intentions to harm herself or anyone else, according to Mountain View officials.
After that interaction with police and just hours before the attack, the suspect practiced shooting at a local gun range, reported Chief Barberini.
While security protections were already in place which prevented the shooter from entering the offices from the courtyard, YouTube released a statement indicating that they would increase security at offices worldwide.
In the aftermath of the attack, many have pointed out the rarity of this being a woman shooter. An FBI examination of active shootings between 2000 and 2013 found that out of 160 attacks looked at, just six involved female shooters. And, women are suspects in only six percent of mass killings in the U.S. according to a USA Today analysis.
Katelyn Merrigan, a senior, studies English, graphic design and marketing. She is the Online Editor of Le Provocateur.