By Angelina DiNota
On April 3 in San Bruno, California, Nasim Najafi Aghdam allegedly shot three people at YouTube Headquarters. A 36-year-old man was in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition, said a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital.
Ismail Aghdam, father of Nasim Aghdam, said his daughter went missing on Monday and did not answer her phone for two days. Mountain View police called Ismail Aghdam on Tuesday morning at around 2 a.m. saying she was found in a car sleeping.
The police were warned by her father that she may be heading towards YouTube Headquarters because she “hated” the company.
“The Police even interviewed her before the attack as they found her sleeping in a car,” said Sacred Heart Social Work Professor Kenneth Mysogland. “Yet she was not arrested or placed into a psychiatric hospital and was not viewed as a danger to herself or others. In retrospect, we wish more had been done. But the reality is that in the moment, people can present themselves as stable and influence a professional’s assessment.”
“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, ‘Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” said YouTube employee Dianna Arnspiger.
“I do question why no one contacted YouTube to advise them of her anger and that she was found in close proximity to the headquarters,” said Mysogland. “This is not to blame but to point out, again, that we need to be vigilant in our efforts to protect ourselves and others when we are concerned about the actions of another person at a particular moment.”
During the incident, the employees at the headquarters were found hiding all throughout the facility while others were dialing for help.
Google, the corporate owner of YouTube, said that the security at the site was working with the employees to help evacuate them from the building.
The shooter was found and appeared to have a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini.
“This is not a typical shooting, as women are far less likely to engage in this type of behavior than males,” said Mysogland. “The motive appears clear in that she was upset at the company for allegedly, in her opinion, restricting access to and possibly even censoring her videos on the YouTube website.”
Nasir Aghdam’s opinion and mindset regarding the company had a large impact on her actions.
Barberini said that there were two additional victims that were found in the neighboring business property. Originally it was declared that there were four people who were shot, but it was retracted when the fourth victim was revealed to have suffered only an ankle injury.
“Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes,” said Mysogland. “We should look harder at an individual’s background, establish universal ways to assess someone who desires to purchase a weapon, and ensure that that gun is accounted for and tracked. Stricter laws would result in fewer guns on the streets, especially in the hands of those who should not have them.”
“The issue is not the gun. The issue is the person with the gun,” said Mysogland.