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Three injured, one dead in shooting at YouTube headquarters (update)

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Police say shooting suspect died from self-inflicted gunshot

YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California
AFP/Getty Images

Four people were shot at YouTube’s San Bruno headquarters Tuesday afternoon, according to law enforcement officials. Three victims have been transported to area hospitals, while the fourth is the suspected shooter, who reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a press conference, San Bruno chief of police Ed Barberini said that there was one victim found on the premises with an apparent gunshot wound, while two additional victims were found off-site. These three victims were reportedly transported to nearby hospitals, according to San Bruno police.

A fourth person was found deceased “with a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted,” said Barberini.

“The extent of injuries are unknown right now,” he said. “[The victims have] all been transported for gunshot-related injuries. We have one subject who is deceased with a self-inflicted wound, who at this time we believe to be the shooter, but we’re following up on that.”

Brent Andrew, public information officer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, also confirmed to Polygon that the hospital had admitted patients from YouTube headquarters.

San Bruno Police confirmed late Tuesday night the identity of the suspected shooter as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a woman in her late ‘30s, according to the New York Times. The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, although police did report that Aghdam criticized YouTube on social media in the past. Aghdam had multiple channels on YouTube, according to the Times, but all channels have been pulled down by the company at this time.

A video posted to Facebook by Aghdam in January 2017 accusing YouTube of discriminating against her channel was republished by NBC News. Many of the complaints in the video have to do with age-gating and other demonetization practices that have affected the general YouTube community over the past couple of years.

Police first responded to several 911 calls from 901 Cherry Avenue, YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, California, around 4 p.m. ET this afternoon. The department later confirmed on Twitter that it was responding to a shooting situation.

YouTube employees tweeted about the situation, writing that the headquarters was under lockdown as police investigated the situation.

Snapchats from around YouTube’s headquarters showed SWAT trucks pulling up to the scene and people leaving the building with their hands in the air.

Google, YouTube’s parent company based in Mountain View, California, also tweeted about the incident. The company confirmed that it is working with authorities and will update with more information as it comes.

The investigation continues, Barberini said, with additional information promised as soon as possible.

Update (April 4): San Bruno chief of police Ed Barberini hosted another press conference on Wednesday morning, shining new light on the situation. The suspected shooter, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, is a resident of San Diego. She was reported missing on April 2, and had been missing since March 3. Aghdam was located by Mountain View police on April 3 and removed from the missing person’s database, according to Barberini. San Bruno police were not in contact with San Diego or Mountain View police until after the incident.

Police recovered a Smith & Wesson-brand 9mm handgun registered to Aghdam after the incident. Barberini confirmed that Aghdam visited a local gun range the morning of the shooting. San Bruno police are not naming the gun range at this time, only confirming that it was a local establishment.

The San Bruno police are attempting to gain access to Aghdam’s social media accounts, in an attempt to better understand the motivation behind the shooting. Police suspect that Aghdam’s primary motive was frustrations with the “policies and practices of YouTube.”

“We have no indication that she was selecting individuals to fire at,” Barberini said, when asked about potentially targeted victims at YouTube.

There is no confirmation at this time from police that all victims of the shooting were employed by YouTube, but all injuries were sustained on YouTube’s campus. There’s also no confirmation on how many shots were fired, but Barberini described the number as “quite a few.”

“There’s an open courtyard that she entreated and that’s where the incident took place,” Barberini said. “She remained in the courtyard area.”

Barberini said that it’s his understanding that Aghdam was staying in her car between March 29 and the day of the shooting, but couldn’t confirm that at this time.