Federal agents search homes where YouTube shooter had lived - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Federal agents search homes where YouTube shooter had lived

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Investigators Wednesday served a search warrant at the San Diego-area residence where a woman was staying before she drove to the Northern California headquarters of YouTube, shot and wounded three people and then turned the gun on herself.

Nasim Najafi Aghdam was apparently upset with the online video company over its policies and practices that she thought were targeting her channels, law enforcement officials confirmed at a news conference Wednesday morning in San Bruno, where YouTube is headquartered.

San Bruno police Chief Ed Barberini also revealed that Aghdam practiced at a gun range Tuesday morning before carrying out the shooting with a 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun registered in her name.

Aghdam was a resident of Menifee, in Riverside County, before she came to San Diego to live with a relative, though exactly when was unclear. Police said Aghdam was 39, but her family said that Wednesday would have been her 38th birthday.

Police said they'd obtained search warrants for two residences in Southern California, the residence in 4S Ranch and another in Riverside County.

Police say Aghdam opened fire as YouTube employees were taking their lunch breaks Tuesday. Authorities received numerous 911 calls reporting gunshots at the YouTube campus south of San Francisco at 12:46 p.m., according to the San Bruno Police Department.

Arriving officers encountered numerous employees fleeing the premises and one victim at the site, San Bruno police Cmdr. Geoff Caldwell said. Two additional gunshot victims had fled to a neighboring business.

Inside the complex, officers located a dead woman -- later identified as Aghdam -- with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Caldwell said.

The most seriously injured victim, a 36-year-old man, remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to police. Two women, ages 32 and 27, were treated for less serious gunshot wounds and have since been released. Another woman injured an ankle while fleeing the scene.

On Tuesday, family members said Aghdam was upset with YouTube for allegedly filtering her content to drive her views down. Her father said the family had called police to report his daughter missing Monday because she hadn't answered her phone for two days. Ismail Aghdam told the Bay Area News Group that he told police she might be going to YouTube because she "hated" the company.

Police in Mountain View, south of San Bruno, said they made contact with Aghdam sleeping in her car early Tuesday morning and then notified her family. There are reports that Aghdam's brother said when he realized how close Mountain View was to YouTube's headquarters, he alerted authorities to warn them she might be planning a confrontation. But the brother reportedly said he was unaware that Aghdam owned or had access to a handgun.

Mountain View police issued a statement confirming that Aghdam's family had contacted the department to say she was upset at YouTube.

"Aghdam's father stated that she may have been in the area because of this," according to the department. "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. Once again, at no point did her father or brother mention anything about potential acts of violence or a possibility of Aghdam lashing out as a result of her issues with her videos. They remained calm throughout this second phone call."

According to Mountain View police, Aghdam told officers early Tuesday morning that she was living in her vehicle while looking for a job in the area.

"At no point during our roughly 20 minute interaction with her did she mention anything about YouTube, if she was upset with them, or that she had planned to harm herself or others," police said. "Throughout our entire interaction with her, she was calm and cooperative."

A website that apparently belonged to Aghdam featured rants about perceived censorship by YouTube. Most of Aghdam's videos featured low production values and showed her dancing, singing and sharing pro-vegan and animal rights messages.

"Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!" she wrote on nasimesabz.com. "There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want (it) to!!!!!"

Aghdam, who apparently ran several social media sites in English, Farsi and Turkish, claimed that some of her videos were age-restricted in 2016 "after new close-minded YouTube employees got control of my Farsi YouTube channel, and began filtering my videos to reduce views (and) suppress (and) discourage me from making videos!"

The YouTube campus remained closed Wednesday. The San Bruno police chief said Aghdam's car was impounded and being examined, but no notes or manifestos were found that forecast the violence, aside from online rants that did not appear to mention any violent intentions.


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