Armed woman with grudge storms YouTube’s California office, wounds 3, kills self

An armed woman from San Diego opened fire at the main office of video-sharing website YouTube on Tuesday, wounding three before taking her life.

Investigators say 39-year-old Nasim Aghdam entered YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters with a handgun, shot three employees, one man and two women, before turning the weapon on herself.

Officials say there is no known connection to terrorism.

One day prior to the shooting, Aghdam’s father Ismail reported her missing.  Upon hearing police had discovered her sleeping in her car at two o’clock Tuesday morning, Ismail Aghdam warned authorities she was angry with the company and may have been driving to the firm’s San Bruno facility.

According to eyewitness accounts, Aghdam entered the facility just before 1 p.m. PDT wearing glasses and a scarf and opened fire in building’s courtyard.

Aghdam wounded three; a fourth person was injured attempting to escape the melee.  As police swarmed the building, they discovered Aghdam’s lifeless body on a patio.

As of Wednesday morning, one victim, a 36-year-old man, was listed in critical condition; a 32-year-old woman was listed in serious condition; and a 27-year-old woman was described as fair.

Initially described as a domestic dispute in which Aghdam targeted an ex-lover, officials have now said the matter as a protest over YouTube’s policies, particularly censorship.

A self-described animal-rights activist, Aghdam maintained a strong presence on social media, retained multiple YouTube channels and published her own website.

Often delivering online rants against YouTube’s alleged “dictatorial” policies, Aghdam was frequently seen railing against the website for not paying her for her videos.  One video uploaded in January captures Aghdam complaining YouTube’s policies of “filtering” her content cost her subscribers.

Responding to the incident, Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the shooting as a “horrific act of violence” and offered assistance to employees.


[Reuters] [New York Daily News] [Mercury News] [Photo courtesy TMZ]