Animal rights activist shoots 3 at YouTube HQ

An Iranian-American animial rights activist entered YouTube headquarters in California and shot three people, possibly in protest of being censored by the online video channel.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

A woman entered the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, on Tuesday and shot three people, possibly in protest of being censored by the online video channel.

Two law enforcement officials identified the shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old San Diego resident and an animal rights activist of Iranian origins, and said the shooting was being investigated as a “domestic dispute.”

Aghdam killed herself after the shooting attack.

Police say she opened fire with a handgun at the YouTube headquarters and wounded three people in an outdoor courtyard before fatally shooting herself. A fourth person injured an ankle while fleeing.

A 36-year-old man was in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition, a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital said.

Aghdam had reportedly previously complained about being censored by YouTube. She has a website with an alleged manifesto that targets YouTube for censorship and demonetization of her video content.

She was quoted in a 2009 story in the San Diego Union-Tribune about a protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the use of pigs in military trauma training. She dressed in a wig and jeans with drops of painted “blood” on them, holding a plastic sword at the demonstration outside the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

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“For me, animal rights equal human rights,” Aghdam told the Union-Tribune at the time.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the shooting “a horrific act of violence.” He said that Google, the parent company of YouTube, which owns the world’s biggest online video website, is doing everything it can to support the victims and their families.

Pichai also said the company “will continue to provide support to help everyone in our Google family heal from this unimaginable tragedy.”

President Donald Trump, briefed on the shooting, tweeted on Tuesday, “Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene.”

YouTube’s 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.

“Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube, all of the employees, were victims of this crime,” said Chris Dale, a YouTube spokesman. “Our hearts go out to all those who suffered.”