The YouTube HQ Shooting was a shooting attack which occurred on April 3, 2018 inside the YouTube headquarters building in San Bruno, California. The shooter wounded 3 people during the attack.
At around 12:46 P.M. PST, San Bruno police received reports of a shooter at the YouTube headquarters. Aghdam's weapon held a capacity of 10 rounds, and she emptied one magazine before reloading. Helicopter footage later showed a large hole and broken glass in the building's lobby doors. Aghdam eventually took her own life, only two days before her 39th birthday. A coroner's report says she died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the heart, but it found no evidence of any drugs or alcohol in her system.
The perpetrator was identified to be Nasim Najafi Aghdam (Persian: نسيم نجفى اقدم; 5 April 1979 – 3 April 2018), an Iranian female-bodybuilder, vegan activist, and aspiring fitness personality. She was born in Urmia, Iran, and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1996. She was a registered member of the Baháʼí Faith and described how veganism was aligned with her religion, but was critical of Middle Eastern cultural practices and Muslims and Baháʼís who ate animals. She was 38 years old and lived with her grandmother in Riverside County, California. She posted content on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and YouTube in Persian, Azerbaijani, English and Turkish. Her content went viral on Iranian social media and drew widespread attention. She had previously protested with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the use of pigs in United States Marine Corps training procedures for victims of trauma.
Nasim Aghdam purchased and registered a 9 mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol from a San Diego gun dealer on January 16, 2018.
On March 31, 2018, Aghdam's family reported to the police that Nasim Aghdam was missing. According to her father, she "hated" YouTube, and the family was worried she might be traveling to the company's offices.
The morning before the shooting, police officers contacted Aghdam when they found her sleeping in her car in a Walmart parking lot in Mountain View, 25 miles (40 km) south of YouTube's headquarters. The officers did not identify her as a threat. It is not clear if these police officers were aware of the concerns of Aghdam's father. Aghdam visited a shooting range the day before the shooting.
Police revealed that Aghdam was motivated by her displeasure at the policies of the YouTube channels that she maintained. She complained about YouTube on her website, writing that "Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!" and that the company had demonetized most of her videos. Later on, she made videos about the demonetization that was affecting all 4 of her YouTube channels. People believe that the motive for the shooting was due to YouTube's demonetization, and her videos being age-restricted. After the incident took place, all of her Google and YouTube accounts were terminated and her website was taken offline by her web hosting service. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also took action by terminating her accounts. Using the Wayback Machine, some content was archived can still be viewed.
Ismail Aghdam, her father, of Riverside County, said that his daughter was a "vegan activist and animal lover" who told him that YouTube had been censoring her videos and stopped paying her for her content. “She was angry,” he said.
Perpetrator's Social Media (All Terminated)
- Nasime Sabz Channel had 12,000 subscribers and 4,000,000 video views.
- Yesil Nasim Channel had 11,000 subscribers and 2,000,000 video views.
- Nasim Handmades Channel had 1,000 subscribers and 100,000 video views.
- Nasim Wonder1 Channel had 5,000 subscribers and 1,000,000 video views.
- Personal Website
- Initially, there was around 60 livestreams surrounding the shooting.
- Paul Joseph Watson exposed a hoax related to the YouTube shooting on his Twitter[verification needed]. A flame war on Twitter ensued, with people threatening Watson. He later apologized but claimed that the perceived "liberal agenda" was "always against [him]".
- YouTuber MaxLison uploaded a video criticizing the attention that the shooting had gotten. He states that CNN, the BBC, and MSNBC should not get involved in such "irrelevant nonsense". The video has since been removed.