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Father: YouTube Shooter 'Hated' Company's Policies

He says he warned police about Nasim Aghdam
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2018 5:11 AM CDT
Updated Apr 4, 2018 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – The vegan activist believed to have opened fire at YouTube's headquarters Tuesday "hated" the company because it had stopped paying her for videos, her father says. Ismail Aghdam, father of Nasim Aghdam, tells the Bay Area News Group that he reported his daughter missing on Monday and warned police that she might go to YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. Police say Aghdam was found sleeping in her car in Mountain View, about 30 miles away, at around 2am Tuesday, but officers released her after she refused to answer their questions. It's not clear whether they were aware of her father's warning. In other developments:

  • The victims. Police say they do not believe the three people Aghdam shot before turning the gun on herself were specifically targeted, the AP reports. San Francisco General Hospital says it is treating 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.

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  • The suspect. Aghdam, a 39-year-old San Diego resident, has been described as a "vegan bodybuilder, artist, and rapper," the BBC reports. Her videos and website dealt with issues including animal cruelty. In social media posts, she complained that YouTube was suppressing her videos and that she had been paid just 10 cents for 300,000 views. Her YouTube channels and Instagram account were taken offline late Tuesday.
  • The attack. Police say Aghdam opened fire with a handgun in a courtyard at the headquarters, where around 1,700 people work. YouTube employees posted updates on social media describing scenes of panic. "Active shooter at YouTube HQ," product manager Vadim Lavrusik tweeted at 12:57pm. "Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk. Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers."
  • Aghdam's complaints. Aghdam, who posted videos in English, Farsi, and Turkish, complained that YouTube was trying to suppress her and others who are "telling the truth that is not supported by the system," the Telegraph reports. "I am being discriminated on and filtered on YouTube and I am not the only one," she said in a Jan. 2017 video. She also complained that YouTube had imposed age limits on one of her workout videos for being too racy.

  • "Come get me." Software engineer Zach Vorhies tells the AP that he was working on the building's second floor when the fire alarm went off. He says he saw the shooter in the courtyard shouting "Come get me," but didn't realize it was an active shooter situation until he saw a police officer with an assault rifle.
  • "Horrible." YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was among the many tech chiefs to condemn the violence. "There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter (at) YouTube today," she tweeted. "Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement and first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured and impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family." Sundar Pichai, chief of parent company Google, decried the "horrific act of violence" in a memo to staff.
  • Animal rights protest. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Aghdam, believed to have lived with her grandmother in San Diego, was quoted in a 2009 story about people protesting the use of pigs in military-trauma training at Camp Pendleton. "For me, animal rights equal human rights," she told a reporter.
(Read more YouTube stories.)

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