Ismail Aghdam, the father of YouTube mass shooter Nasim Aghdam, says he warned police that she had gone missing and was angry at YouTube.
The father, speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, appears to have provided a clue as to possible motive. Authorities have yet to articulate why they believe Nasim, 39, of southern California, drove to the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California and shot three people. She then killed herself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say.
Although early reports in California news media indicated the shooting might be domestic-related, authorities never confirmed that information. Indeed, they later revealed in a press release that Nasim Najafi Aghdam was the shooter and wrote, “The San Bruno Police Department is investigating a motive for this shooting. At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted. Anyone with any information related to this crime is urged to contact the San Bruno Police Department at (650) 616-7100 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can be left anonymously.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ismail Aghdam Says His Daughter Hated YouTube
Ismail’s own Facebook page is innocuous, containing only a few photos, in contrast to his daughter’s prolific, colorful, and rather bizarre social media videos and photos. According to her father, the shooter’s ire toward YouTube ignited several weeks ago.
He told The San Jose Mercury News in an exclusive interview that his daughter claimed YouTube “stopped everything” and “she was angry.” Her reason for being angry was that she believed the company had stopped paying for ads on her videos. In fact, she had posted rants against YouTube on social media, including one in which she stated that YouTube had discriminated against her by filtering her content.
She also posted an Instagram rant against YouTube, writing, “All my youtube channels got filtered by youtube so my videos hardly get views and it is called “merely relegation.” This is also happening to many other channels on youtube. This is the peaceful tactic used on the internet to censor and suppress people who speak the truth and are not good for the financial, political … gains of the system and big businesses. I recently got filtered on instagram too and maybe its related to youtube and youtube staff asked instagram to filter me here too!!?”
In another video, Aghdam ranted, “I’m being discriminated and filtered on YouTube and I’m not the only one. They age restricted my ab workout video. A video that has nothing bad in it. Nothing sexual.”
You can read her dad’s interview with the Mercury News here.
2. Ismail Aghdam Reported Nasim Missing Before the Shooting
Ismail Aghdam also told the Mercury News that he reported his daughter missing to police before the shooting and told them that she “hated” YouTube. He alleged that authorities found her sleeping in her car, and told the family she had been located.
The father told NBC News that YouTube “stopped everything and now she has no income.”
“Our officers made contact with the woman after the license plate of her vehicle matched that of a missing person out of Southern California,” confirmed Mountain View Police spokeswoman Katie Nelson, stating that the police had contact with a woman with the same name as Nasim Aghdam.
3. The Aghdams Are From Iran & The Father Has an Electric Company
According to NBC News, Ismail Aghdam owns an electric company that Nasim was worked for in addition to her work in animal rights areas.
BuzzFile reports that the company is located in San Diego. Nasim was also living in southern California. “Aghdam, Ismail, which also operates under the name Stars Electric, is located in San Diego, California. This organization primarily operates in the General Electrical Contractor business / industry within the Construction – Special Trade Contractors sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 18 years. Aghdam, Ismail is estimated to generate $106,650 in annual revenues, and employs approximately 1 people at this single location,” BuzzFile reported of the father’s business.
A Chamber of Commerce website says, “Aghdam Ismail specializes in Water Features, Mobile Homes, Landscape Lighting. Aghdam Ismail has an annual sales volume of 501K – 999,999. Aghdam Ismail provides Satellite Systems, Lighting, Repairs & Replacements to it’s customers. For maps and directions to Aghdam Ismail view the map to the right.”
Nasim Aghdam was born in Iran and identified herself as a Persian vegan bodybuilder on social media.
4. Nasim Posted a Series of Bizarre YouTube Videos & Ranted Against the Company
Nasim Aghdam had a prolific presence on social media. She posted everything from Taylor Swift parodies to cooking videos to posts about being a vegan. You can watch some of her videos from her now deleted YouTube channel here.
She also wrote about the Baha’i religion, and a blog post described her as an adherent. One lengthy blog post by Aghdam at the Interfaith Vegan Alliance website was titled “Meeting the Bahai.” The blog post’s author bio refers to Nasim by her YouTube pseudonym of Nasime Sabz. It says “Nasime Sabz is a Bahai activist who has written extensively about her findings, her experience, veganism, and human-animal liberation. Nasime is mainly active on YouTube but has previously had her own TV Show on Persian Satellite (the first of its kind in Persia). However due to financial constraints Nasime is no longest on mainstream TV, but no doubt, she’ll be back. Nasime’s approach is aimed at ‘inciting’ kindness to all living beings.”
5. Three People Were Shot in the Incident
A press release from the San Bruno Police Department said that, on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 12:46 p.m., the San Bruno Police Department received “numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting gunshots at the YouTube Campus located at 901 Cherry Avenue in San Bruno.”
San Bruno Police Officers arrived on scene at 12:48 p.m. and “immediately entered the building to search for a possible suspect. Arriving officers encountered numerous employees fleeing the premises. Officers encountered one victim with an apparent gunshot wound at the site and two additional gunshot victims that had fled to a neighboring business,” the press release states.
“Inside the complex officers located a deceased female inside with a gunshot wound that is believed to have been self-inflicted. A total of four people were transported to local hospitals, three of which were suffering from gunshot wounds. The extent of the victims’ injuries are unknown at this time,” the release added.
“Following an initial search to identify any immediate threats, a perimeter was established with the assistance of responding officers from several allied police agencies. Tactical teams then conducted a thorough search of the campus located at
901 Cherry Avenue. No other suspects were located, nor are there additional suspects believed to be associated at this time. The scene is currently being processed for evidence by San Bruno Police Detectives and the San Mateo County Crime Lab.”