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YouTube HQ shooting: Tim Cook, Bezos, Wojcicki back gun control; updates

Nasim Najafi Aghdam's father told a reporter that his daughter had been missing for several days and added that he had warned the police that she was angry with YouTube

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

YouTube headquarters shooting
San Bruno : Workers walk down a street near YouTube offices in San Bruno, Calif., Tuesday, April 3, 2018. A woman opened fire at YouTube headquarters Tuesday, setting off a panic among employees and wounding several people. AP/PTI Photo 

An Iranian-born woman who blogged about surviving in a world filled with "injustice and diseases" opened fire at YouTube's California headquarters because she was angry at a site she believed was suppressing her videos, police said on Wednesday.

In Persian and English-language online postings, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, had railed against the video-sharing site owned by Alphabet Inc's Google before wounding three people and killing herself on Tuesday at its offices in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco. In an English-language video posted to her account before the channel was deleted on Tuesday, Aghdam said, "I am being discriminated. I am being filtered on " "We know that she was upset with ... that's the motivation," San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters.

"Whether that rises to the level of terrorism hopefully will be determined in the next couple of weeks." The shooting on the corporate campus in California's Silicon Valley came days after Aghdam had a dispute with her family that caused her to leave her San Diego home. On Monday, they reported her missing, police said.

Early the next day, Mountain View police found Aghdam sleeping in her car a few miles from Alphabet's headquarters. She was "calm and cooperative" with the officers she spoke with, made no mention of YouTube and gave no indication she would harm anyone, Mountain View police said.

The San Jose Mercury News quoted Aghdam's father, Ismail Aghdam, as saying he told police that his daughter might go to YouTube's headquarters because she hated the company but Mountain view police disputed that account.

Police said officers had twice spoken with the family after finding her. In an initial call, Aghdam's father said nothing about his daughter posing a threat but then called back to say she had posted vegan videos to YouTube and was angry about something that had been done to them, police said. "At no point did her father or brother mention anything about potential acts of violence," the statement said.

Aghdam entered the YouTube parking garage and walked to an open-air plaza, where she opened fire. But she was not able to walk into the building itself, YouTube said in a statement on Wednesday. YouTube is "revisiting this incident in detail" and will increase security at its offices worldwide, the company said.

Here are the top 10 developments around the shooting where the assailant committed suicide after injuring several people:

1) Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube heads express grief over shooting: In the aftermath of the shooting, the heads of YouTube, Amazon.com, Twitter, and Apple spoke out and expressed their support for those who were injured in the incident. CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki tweeted that "there are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter" at YouTube. "Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response," she said, adding, "Our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family."

Jeff Bezos, the Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, tweeted that it was a "horrible and truly tragic day for YouTube and Google". He added: "We are wishing all our very best for the injured and all those affected." Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple, tweeted that Apple was sending its "sympathy and support to the team at YouTube and Google, especially the victims and their families".




2) Shooter's father had warned police she was angry with YouTube: Nasim Najafi Aghdam's father told a reporter for a CBS affiliate that his daughter had been missing for several days. He added that he had warned the police that his daughter was angry with YouTube.

Woman who allegedly carried out identified by police: The person who allegedly shot at least three people at YouTube's campus on Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, according to senior law enforcement officials. The woman, who was 39 years old, is believed to have carried out the attack because of a domestic dispute, officials said. The authorities said terrorism did not appear to be a motive at this time.

The shooter used a 9 mm handgun.

Aghdam, who authorities say last lived in the San Diego area, had previously claimed in a video that YouTube "discriminated and filtered" her content, according to NBC Bay Area.

Police chief Ed Barberini of San Bruno city, 19 km from San Francisco, said the suspect, a female shooter, appeared to have shot herself after injuring multiple people at the campus of the YouTube facility.

"We did locate a victim with what we believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," said Barberini. "It's a female, but the investigation is still ongoing before we can put all the pieces together."

3) YouTube shooter criticised company's Video Policy: The woman who police say went on a shooting rampage at on Tuesday was a video creator who criticised the company for policies she claimed limited her audience, according to media reports.

Police in San Bruno, California, identified the suspect as Nasim Aghdam, according to news organizations including The Los Angeles Times, which cited an unidentified law enforcement source.

The local NBC news affiliate linked her to a website and YouTube channels that criticized the Google video unit. "YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!" the website reads. "There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site."

The site also complains about the small amount of money Aghdam said she got from a video that was viewed a few hundred thousand times. It also lists several YouTube videos, some devoted to vegan activism with graphic images of animal cruelty, along with channels in English, Farsi and Turkish. The domain name for the website was created in 2015, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

4) Google issues statement on the shooting: Google, the parent company of YouTube, issued a statement, saying that "We continue to actively coordinate with local authorities and hospitals. Our security team has been working closely with authorities to evacuate the buildings and ensure the safety of employees in the area".

5) Four injured in the YouTube shooting: Police found one gunshot victim near the entrance of the company headquarters, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. Two injured women ran across the street and took shelter in a restaurant. A fourth person injured an ankle while fleeing but was not hurt by gunfire, officials said. "We have a 32-year-old female who is in a serious condition, a 27-year-old female in a fair condition, and a 36-year-old male in a critical condition," KPIX 5 TV quoted Brent Andrew, spokesman for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, as saying.

The shooting took place in an outdoor cafe at the YouTube campus in San Bruno in the US, which houses at least 1,700 employees.

6) US President's thoughts with those aggrieved: US President Donald Trump said, "our thoughts are with everybody involved". In a tweet, Trump said he had been briefed on the shooting at the

"Was just briefed on the shooting at YouTube's HQ in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved," he tweeted.

7) Google CEO Sundar Pichai thanks police: Sundar Pichai, the CEO of YouTube parent company Google, said: Earlier this afternoon, while our employees were having lunch, we received reports of an active shooter at YouTube in San San Bruno. Law enforcement and our Security team worked to evacuate the buildings and prioritize the safety of everyone there,

The best information we have is that the situation is contained. We are very actively monitoring and working with local authorities and hospitals. It's with great sadness that I tell you - based n the latest information - four people were injured in this horrific act of violence. We're doing everything we can to support them and their families at this time.

I'm grateful to everyone inside and outside the company for the outpouring of support and best wishes. I am especially thankful to the first responders and our own security team who acted so quickly to keep people safe.

I know a lot of you are in shock right now. Over the coming days, we will continue to provide support to help everyone in our Google family heal from this unimaginable tragedy.

Let's everyone come together now to support Susan and the YouTube team.

-Sundar


8) Employees recount scenes at YouTube office: Employees recounted frantic scenes as they fled the headquarters of the Google-owned video sharing service near San Francisco, with one saying he saw blood on the floor as he escaped.

"We were sitting in a meeting and then we heard people running because it was rumbling the floor. First thought was an earthquake," employee Todd Sherman tweeted.

Sherman said that as he headed for an exit "someone said that there was a person with a gun," and added, "at that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter."

Sherman's tweets continued: "I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Peeked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front."

Another YouTube employee, Vadim Lavrusik, tweeted: "Active shooter at Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk. Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers."

Later, Lavrusik said he had escaped to safety.

Witnesses reported helicopters on the scene as well as police SWAT teams.






9) The incident follows the Maryland shooting and Florida shooting: Last month, the US witnessed 19th shooting of 2018 in a school. More than 40 “active shooter” episodes in schools have been recorded in the United States since 2000, according to F. B. I. and news reports. The shootings have become common enough that many schools, including Douglas High, run annual drills in which students practice huddling in classrooms behind locked doors. Valentine's Day 2018 turned into a Day of Carnage for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle on Wednesday. The attack killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen.

10) Number of US citizens backing gun control rises: The number of US citizens who want more gun control is growing, an NPR/Ipsos poll said. Three-quarters of Americans said gun laws should be stricter than they are today, up from 68 per cent in a October 2017 survey following the Las Vegas shooting, Xinhua cited the latest poll as saying. The poll also found widespread bipartisan support for gun-control policies, including expanding background check for all gun buyers (94 per cent), adding people with mental illnesses to the federal gun background check system (92 per cent), raising the legal age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 (82 per cent), banning bump stocks (81 per cent), banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (73 per cent) and banning assault-style weapons (72 per cent).

'Vote them out!': Hundreds of thousands demand gun control in USA

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied in Washington DC on March 25, calling for stricter control on guns, more secured schools, and an end to gun violence.

Carrying signs with slogans including "Never Again", "Am I Next?", protesters gathered in Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue that connects the Capitol Hill and the White House.

The rally "March For Our Lives" was held after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with an assault rifle in a high school in Parkland, state of Florida on February 14, Xinhua reported.

The shooting has revived a national debate over gun controls, as many are concerned that mass school shootings are becoming alarmingly common. Meanwhile, more than 800 similar events were held in cities across the country the same day, including such cities as Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, and Parkland. While the White House 'applauded' the historic "March for Our Lives" rally, there was no word on it from Donald Trump.

First Published: Thu, April 05 2018. 06:22 IST
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