SAN BRUNO, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The YouTube shooter was upset about the “policies and practices” of the company and had visited a gun range before she drove to the company’s headquarters near San Francisco, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said Wednesday.
Barberini said 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam got into the building through a parking garage. He said that investigators are in the process of executing search warrants at two properties.
The police chief said Aghdam had a 9 mm handgun and that authorities “have no indication that she was selecting individuals to fire at.”
“Whether that means she was firing randomly or not, we still have to work through that,” Barberini said.
Barberini said she “legally possessed and owned” the weapon. He said the shooter visited a gun range early in the morning before heading to YouTube and that her anger at YouTube is “the motivation we’ve identified.”
“Whether that rises to the level of terrorism will be determined over the next few weeks,” he said.
Police have said that she shot and wounded three people before she killed herself on Tuesday.
Aghdam “hated” YouTube and was angry that the company stopped paying her for videos she posted on the platform, her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group.
The father also spoke to CBS News. He told them his daughter often used YouTube to share videos about animal activism.
On Nasim Aghdam’s personal website, with links to her YouTube videos on it, she wrote: “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site.”
Her father said he did not know his daughter owned a gun or where she got it.
On Monday, he called police to report his daughter missing after she didn’t answer the phone for two days and warned officers that she might go to YouTube, he said.
A Wednesday post on the Mountain View Police Department’s Facebook page says officers found Nasim Aghdam sleeping in her car in a parking lot.
The car’s license plate matched a missing person’s report from her family. She told officers she left home because she was having issues with her family and was looking for a job.
Police said she was asked a series of questions during a 20-minute interaction and “at no point” mentioned anything about YouTube.
Police described her in the post as “calm and cooperative” throughout the interaction.
The post says that after police talked with her father, he called back to say that Aghdam had made a series of vegan videos on YouTube and she had become upset because of something the company had done.
Earlier Tuesday, law enforcement said the shooting was being investigated as a domestic dispute but did not elaborate. It was not immediately clear why police later said the people shot were not specifically targeted.
YouTube employee Dianna Arnspiger said she was on the building’s second floor when she heard gunshots, ran to a window and saw the shooter on a patio outside.
“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, ‘Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” Arnspiger said.
She and others hid in a conference room for an hour while another employee repeatedly called 911 for updates.
Officers discovered one victim with a gunshot wound when they arrived and then found the shooter with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound several minutes later, Barberini said. He said two additional gunshot victims were later located at an adjacent business.
One of the victims, a 36-year-old man, was in critical condition, a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital said. The two other victims, a 32-year-old woman and a 27-year-old woman, have been released from the hospital.
The world’s biggest online video website is owned by Silicon Valley giant Google, but company officials said it’s a tight-knit community. The headquarters has more than a thousand engineers and other employees in several buildings. Originally built in the late 1990s for the clothing retailer Gap, the campus south of San Francisco is known for its sloped green roof of native grasses.
Inside, Google several years ago famously outfitted the office with a 3-lane red slide for workers to zoom from one story to another.
“Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube, all of the employees, were victims of this crime,” said Chris Dale, a spokesman for YouTube.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a tweet the company would “come together to heal as a family.”
Officers and federal agents responding to multiple 911 calls swarmed the company’s campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)