Terrified for their life, employees of the YouTube headquarters fled the scene as a gunman burst into the building. Around lunchtime on Tuesday in San Bruno, California, Nasim Aghdam a 39 year-old woman went into the premises armed with a hand gun.
When police responded to the alert, Aghdam was found dead with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gun wound. Ed Barberini, the San Bruno Police Chief, stated that three people have been transported to local hospitals and are being treated for gunshot related injuries.
Barberini mentioned that his department is working hard to identify the possible motive for the attack, as reports have suggested that the shooter had no personal connections with any of the employees at the building. With that in mind none of the victims knew or were connected to Aghdam in any way.
The police involved in responding to the incident reported that they found one victim out the front of the premises where they then found Aghdam deceased inside. Two other victims were also located by police that were at a nearby building. Barberini confirmed that the shooter was wielding a handgun and that there was no further threat at large towards the community.
Aghdam has been very vocal about her views on YouTube’s platform on her own YouTube channel. Her videos are filled with criticism towards YouTube while still using the platform herself. She had mentioned several times that the website was ruining her life as her content had become demonetised. Aghdam’s family called police to report her missing but had been told that she was south of San Bruno.
When the family realised she was travelling to the headquarters they warned the police force of what acts she might conduct. According to the family, Aghdam didn’t know anyone personally at YouTube. A witness stated that she asked a male employee for their name and that she was wielding a 9mm handgun which was later confirmed to be true.
An expert on mass shootings, Jaclyn Schildkraut, mentioned that it is very uncommon to see a female carry out this sort of shooting. Out of off the mass shootings in the US from the past 2 decades, only 4 percent of them were carried out by women.
However, Tuesday’s shooting may not be classified as a “mass” shooting as the term refers to when four or more people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. Regardless of the classification of the tragedy, the event that unfolded showcases how the gun laws in America operate and how anyone can simply walk into a building threatening the lives of others.