Nasim Aghdam’s family was worried about her. She was not at her grandfather’s San Diego house where she’d been staying. When her brother Shahran Aghdam learned where she was, he found on a map that Mountain View was just a 30 minute drive to YouTube headquarters in San Bruno. He knew his sister had a contentious relationship with the video-sharing website owned by Google, and so he phoned Mountain View police and told an officer there was a reason his sister made the more than 500 mile journey.
“…she might do something,” local media reported he said.
Aghdam told reporters police assured him they’d keep tabs on her. That was at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon just before 1 p.m., his 38-year-old sister went onto the sprawling Cherry Avenue YouTube headquarters campus and, according to police, shot three people and then turned the gun on herself.
Late Wednesday morning, Mountain View Police issued a statement about the case.
In the early stages of the investigation by San Bruno police, as is often the case, some details made public were later corrected or clarified.
As of Wednesday morning though, San Bruno police said Nasim Aghdam likely did not know the victims she shot: “…there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”
Nasim Aghdam’s brother said he warned police, but she’s dead of what police now say “is believed to have (a) been self-inflicted” gunshot wound to the chest. Three people suffered gunshot wounds besides Nasim; police said in the latest press release their conditions were unknown and they had not been identified.
Nasim’s father Ismail Aghdam sent a statement to a reporter.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Aghdam’s Brother Contacted Mountain View Police About His Sister & Warned Them, He Said
Aghdam and other members of his family became worried about Nasim who had been staying with her grandfather at his home in the hills just north of downtown San Diego, the community known as 4S Ranch. The Aghdam family said she’d stopped picking up her phone. On March 31, they reported her missing. Nasim was located asleep in her car in Mountain View, eight hours-drive away from San Diego.
Aghdam told local media that he was concerned about her location because of her problems with YouTube, namely what she called the company’s indiscriminate policies that affected her view count and popularity on the site. Her posts on her YouTube account which had more than 5,000 subscribers and has since been shuttered, ran the gamut from cooking and exercising videos to graphic depictions of animal cruelty and neglect. Regardless, Shahran Aghdam was worried she’d go to YouTube and feared the worst. “I was too late,” he said. This is the account he gave to ABC 10 news reporters in San Diego:
“I Googled ‘Mountain View’ and it was close to YouTube headquarters, and she had a problem with YouTube. So I called that cop again and told him there’s a reason she went all the way from San Diego to there, so she might do something. So they didn’t do anything and she got killed and three or four more people got hurt …I was too late.”
2. Nasim’s Father Ismail Aghdam Also Spoke to Police About His Daughter
Ismail Aghdam reported his daughter missing on Saturday, March 31. But when he learned in the middle of he night where she was a couple of days later, he told police he was concerned because of her contempt for the video-sharing website and her now close proximity. Aghdam told local media that he received a phone call from police in Mountain View saying everything was “under control.”
Aghdam said his daughter had complained to her family about YouTube saying she “hated” the company for censoring her videos and stopped paying her for her content. “She was angry,” he told local media.
Initially, it wasn’t made clear what the Mountain View police knew about her connection to YouTube as both her brother and father had said they’d informed them. The police statement issued Tuesday was followed up with a clearer picture of the police interaction with Nasim Aghdam.
3. Mountain View Police Admit They Were Told About the YouTube Connection But Said the Aghdam Family ‘Did Not Seemed (sic) Concerned’
The Mountain View Police Department issued a statement Wednesday morning that depicts the interaction with Ismail and Shahran Aghdam differently than how the family has portrayed it.
Despite being considered “at risk because she’d never gone missing before or left home,” Mountain View police said in the statement, her brother Shahran and father Ismail said “the family had been having issues at home, but did not act in any way concerned about why his daughter had left.” Police said at no point did either say she might be a threat to YouTube and “there was no indication from either Aghdam or her family that she may have been in possession of any weapons.”
Police said the father called back and explained that his daughter had issues with YouTube but again police claim, “at no point did her father or brother mention anything about potential acts of violence or a possibility of Aghdam lashing out as a result of her issues with her videos. They remained calm throughout this second phone call.”
The full Mountain View police statement can be read here.
4. The Aghdam Family Didn’t Know Nasim Had a Gun & Said She Was ‘Nonviolent’
Ismail said he did not know his daughter had a gun. “Maybe she bought one,” he told the Mercury News. The family described her as non-violent and it appears she had no criminal record.
Shahran said his sister “never hurt any creature.” And her father told local media that his daughter, a vegan and animal rights activist loved animals. He said as a child, she’d not even harm insects inside their home and would relocate bugs into the back yard.
Shahran said his sister, who would have turned 39 today April 4, was a peaceful person and lamented that instead of celebrating her birthday, the family is in mourning: “I was too late.”
5. Nasim, a YouTuber Who Previously Had a Monetized Account, Was an Artist, Model, Videographer, & Animal Rights Activist
Nasim posted exercise videos, parodies of pop singers, comedy routines, and a lot of videos that reflected her vegan lifestyle and her passion for animal rights activism.
Nasim posted in English, Turkish, and Farsi. She had a full, vivid and copious social media presence. Describing herself and her YouTube channel as the home of Nasim the “Persian Azeri female vegan bodybuilder” and “animal rights activist” also described herself as a producer and director and posted what she said was the first-ever Persian vegan and animal rights music video and TV ad called ‘Do You Dare.’