International

Woman suspect dead, several injured in YouTube headquarters shooting

Police search a building at YouTube’s corporate headquarters in San Bruno, California on Tuesday.

Police search a building at YouTube’s corporate headquarters in San Bruno, California on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Two law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Nasim Aghdam.

A woman opened fire with a handgun at YouTube's headquarters near San Francisco on Tuesday, injuring three people before shooting herself dead as employees of the Silicon Valley tech company fled into the surrounding streets, authorities said.

The woman suspected in the shooting at YouTube headquarters on Tuesday was a 39-year-old San Diego resident.

Two law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Nasim Aghdam.

 

Aghdam was quoted in a 2009 story in the San Diego Union-Tribune about a protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the use of pigs in military trauma training. She dressed in a wig and jeans with drops of painted “blood” on them, holding a plastic sword at the demonstration outside the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

“For me, animal rights equal human rights,” Aghdam told the Union-Tribune at the time.

Senior law enforcement officials believe the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute, MSNBC and other media reported. A U.S. government security official told Reuters there was no known connection to terrorism.

‘Thought it was an earthquake’

A YouTube product manager, Todd Sherman, described on Twitter hearing people running, first thinking it was an earthquake before he was told that a person had a gun.

“At that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter. Someone else said that the person shot out the back doors and then shot themselves,” Sherman said in a tweet.

“I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Peaked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front,” Sherman said.

The shooting was the latest in a string of mass killings carried out in the United States in recent years. Most recently, the massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school has led to calls for tighter restrictions on gun ownership.

In a recording of a 911 call posted online by the Los Angeles Times, a dispatcher can be heard saying: Shooter. Another party said they spotted someone with a gun. Suspect came from the back patio ... Again we have a report of a subject with a gun. They heard seven or eight shots being fired.”

Emergency vehicles converge

Dozens of emergency vehicles quickly converged on the YouTube campus, and police could be seen on televised aerial video systematically frisking several employees leaving the area with their hands raised.

One of the victims, a 36-year-old man, was listed in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. A 32-year-old woman was listed in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition. Authorities did not release names of the victims.

The three patients taken to San Francisco General Hospital were all awake, Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at the hospital, said at a news conference. All three people were victims of gunshot wounds, Campbell said, but none of them had undergone surgery. A fourth person was taken to a local hospital with an ankle injury from fleeing the scene.

YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki declined to comment to reporters as she left the building.

“It's with great sadness that I tell you - based on the latest information — four people were injured in this horrific act of violence,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in letter to employees that was posted on Twitter. “I know a lot of you are in shock right now. Over the coming days, we will continue to provide support to help everyone in our Google family heal from this unimaginable tragedy,” he added.

 

In a separate tweet, Mr. Pichai said he and Wojcicki were “focused on supporting our employees & the @YouTube community through this difficult time together.”

President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved, Trump tweeted. Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene.

In response, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey tweeted: ”We cant keep being reactive to this, thinking and praying it wont happen again at our schools, jobs, or our community spots. Its beyond time to evolve our policies.”

Last month, YouTube announced it would ban content promoting the sale of guns and gun accessories as well as videos that teach how to make guns.

Female mass shooters are rare. A recent Washington Post analysis shows only three out of 150 U.S. shootings with more than four victims since 1966 were done by women. In 2015, a husband and wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 24, 2020 8:39:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/youtube-shooting-woman-suspect-dead-several-injured/article23430222.ece

Next Story