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Police activity near YouTube HQ in San Bruno.

 


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A suspected female shooter was found dead inside YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters Tuesday after an emergency erupted in the quiet Silicon Valley town.

YouTube employees began posting to Twitter about a shooting around 1 p.m. PT. They described a chaotic scene that was brought under control by law enforcement.

The San Bruno Police Department identified Nasim Najafi Aghdam as the shooter who eventually turned the gun on herself. Three others — a 32-year-old woman, a 27-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man — were transported to the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with gunshot wounds.

The event rattled the tech industry, which has so far lived in relative comfort along the quiet peninsula that’s home to some of the world’s largest companies, including Apple, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and YouTube’s parent company, Google (and its own parent company Alphabet).

YouTube itself is the internet’s biggest video site, a fact that drew more attention to the tragedy. Silicon Valley CEOs and workers and President Donald Trump all tweeted about the situation as police descended on the community, putting up crime scene tape, shutting down intersections and stopping traffic on a nearby freeway for a short time.

Here’s everything we know about the shooting so far.

Who was the shooter?

Police said that the shooter was Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old woman.

The San Bruno Police Department is investigating the motive for the shootings. “At this time,” read a statement Tuesday, “there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”

 

 


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What’s her relationship with YouTube?

Aghdam reportedly had a number of YouTube accounts and a website where she allegedly voiced concerns about YouTube and its monetization policies.

Earlier reports indicated she may have known one of her victims and initially asked for the male victim by name, but she reportedly had no relationships with anyone at YouTube HQ.

Nasim Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online, according to CBS News. A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.

She had more than 10,000 subscribers on her YouTube channels, all of which have now been taken down.

Aghdam’s family told CBS Los Angeles that she had become increasingly upset with YouTube when the site stopped paying for the content she posted online. Prior to the shooting, Aghdam’s father said the San Diego local had gone missing for two days.

Didn’t I hear this was a false-flag operation? And wasn’t one of the Parkland shooting survivors there?

This is where the story takes a turn. As with other tragedies, including the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, trolls and propagandists used the shooting to spread false stories about those involved. Others mocked the situation.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter became home to many of these conspiracy theories and hoaxes, an issue the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, addressed in a tweet, promising action.

The trolling got so bad that someone hacked into the Twitter account of one of the YouTube survivors and posted tweets making fun of his name, among other things.

What was the reaction?

The tech industry quickly rallied in a show of a support, tweeting out sympathy to the people affected by the YouTube shooting. Executives including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey all shared their dismay over the tragic event.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, meanwhile, posted his thanks to first responders, and a copy of a letter he sent to the team.

YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, tweeted her support for the victims.

I thought Google was based in Menlo Park. Where’s San Bruno?

Silicon Valley companies are known for their colorful sprawling campuses that stand as landmarks throughout the area. But the truth is that many of these companies’ employees work in satellite offices in less glamorous locations throughout the Bay Area.

YouTube continues to operate out of San Bruno, where it was based after it was founded in 2005. It continued to operate there even after it was purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. In fact, two years ago it bought multiple buildings to expand its presence to be able to house nearly 3,000 employees.

Originally published April 3 at 6:41 p.m. PT.
Update, 8:38 p.m. PT:
Added identification of alleged shooter.
Update, 11:06 p.m. PT: Added police confirmation of the shooter.

Update, 5:15 a.m. PT: To include additional details on the shooter.

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