Shooting motivated by video blogger Nasim Aghdam's anger with YouTube, police say

SAN FRANCISCO, April 4 (Reuters) - 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 a series of 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 YouTube account before the channel was deleted on Tuesday, Aghdam said, "I am being discriminated. I am being filtered on YouTube."

YouTube California headquarters shooting suspect Nasim Aghdam

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YouTube California headquarters shooting suspect Nasim Aghdam
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YouTube California headquarters shooting suspect Nasim Aghdam
Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego who police say was behind April 3, 2018 shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California is seen in this still image from Mountain View Police body camera video released in California, U.S., on April 13, 2018. Courtesy City of Mountain View/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego who police say was behind April 3, 2018 shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California is seen in this still image from Mountain View Police body camera video released in California, U.S., on April 13, 2018. Courtesy City of Mountain View/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego who police say was behind April 3, 2018 shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California is seen in this still image from Mountain View Police body camera video released in California, U.S., on April 13, 2018. Courtesy City of Mountain View/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego who police say was behind April 3, 2018 shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California is seen in this still image from Mountain View Police body camera video released in California, U.S., on April 13, 2018. Courtesy City of Mountain View/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nasim Najafi Aghdam appears in a handout photo provided by the San Bruno Police Department, April 4, 2018. San Bruno Police Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
BREAKING: YouTube Shooting Suspect Identified as Nasim Aghdam, Who Slammed The Platform For Discrimination… https://t.co/IxxUYPgS64
The woman suspected of opening fire at YouTube headquarters, Nasim Aghdam, told family members she thought YouTube… https://t.co/pOjWVJQJfH
Nasim Najafi Aghdam, the woman suspected of opening fire at YouTube, had battled against the video platform on her… https://t.co/VPT23OfGT2
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The father of Nasim Aghdam, the 39-year-old woman who opened fire at YouTube's California headquarters, told CBS Ne… https://t.co/VLUi0B2Kj4
YouTube shooting suspect Nasim Aghdam, who describes herself as a vegan artist, bodybuilder, and animal rights acti… https://t.co/SCPNnCynEW
#NEW: Mountain View PD says they found YouTube shooter asleep in a parking lot early Tues. Nasim Aghdam was reporte… https://t.co/4VQ2MDOmK3
BREAKING: Just spoke to the father of Nasim Aghdam. He says his daughter had been missing for several days. When co… https://t.co/eq6MsE91OV
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"We know that she was upset with YouTube ... 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 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 You Tube 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.

Efforts to reach Aghdam's relatives by phone were unsuccessful.

Shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California

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Shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California
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Shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California
YouTube employees are seen walking away from Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Yellow tarp seen at YouTube HQ as police continue searching for shooter (@KTVU) https://t.co/bwTLj8Ewgf
A police officer and crime scene markers are seen at Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police walk outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police walk outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 3: Security measures are taken after security forces responded to an active shooter at YouTube's California headquarters in San Bruno, California, United States on April 3, 2018. A woman shot and wounded at least four people before possibly taking her own life at YouTube's California headquarters Tuesday, according to police. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Police officers are seen at Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police officers stand by in front of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police officers stand by in front of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police officers stand by in front of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police in tactical gear walk outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. A woman opened fire at the facility, wounding four people before taking her own life, according to authorities. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police in tactical gear walk outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. A woman opened fire at the facility, wounding four people before taking her own life, according to authorities. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
We are seeing @YouTube employees being brought out with hands up! https://t.co/ZlSMY9FIVm
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police look on as employees walk across the streer outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. A woman opened fire at the facility, wounding four people before taking her own life, according to authorities. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Law enforcement stands watch outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Media gather outside during an active shooting at YouTube's offices in San Bruno, California on April 3, 2018. Gunshots erupted at YouTube's offices in California Tuesday, sparking a panicked escape by employees and a massive police response.Some media reports said several people were injured. San Bruno police warned on Twitter to stay away from the area housing the headquarters of the Google-owned video sharing service near San Francisco. / AFP PHOTO / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
The offices of YouTube are seen in the distance outside after an active shooting at YouTube's offices in San Bruno, California on April 3, 2018. Gunshots erupted at YouTube's offices in California Tuesday, sparking a panicked escape by employees and a massive police response, before the shooter -- a woman -- apparently committed suicide.Police said three people had been hospitalized with gunshot injuries following the shooting in the city of San Bruno, and that a female suspect was found dead at the scene. 'We have one subject who is deceased inside the building with a self-inflicted wound,' San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters. 'At this time, we believe it to be the shooter.' / AFP PHOTO / Hand-Out / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Law enforcement stands watch outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 3: Security measures are taken after police officers responded to an active shooter at YouTube's California headquarters in San Bruno, California, United States on April 3, 2018. The San Bruno Police Department urged people to stay away from the building, located at Cherry Ave and Bay Hill Drive. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 3: Security measures are taken after police officers responded to an active shooter at YouTube's California headquarters in San Bruno, California, United States on April 3, 2018. The San Bruno Police Department urged people to stay away from the building, located at Cherry Ave and Bay Hill Drive. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police walk outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: San Bruno police chief Ed Barberini speaks to members of the media outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: Police survey the scene outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, CA - APRIL 03: San Bruno police chief Ed Barberini speaks to members of the media outside of the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018 in San Bruno, California. Police are investigating an active shooter incident at YouTube headquarters that has left at least one person dead and several wounded. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN BRUNO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 3: Security measures are taken after police officers responded to an active shooter at YouTube's California headquarters in San Bruno, California, United States on April 3, 2018. The San Bruno Police Department urged people to stay away from the building, located at Cherry Ave and Bay Hill Drive. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
San Mateo County SWAT team officers are seen near Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Law enforcement officers are seen near a patio with crime scene markers at Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Burlingame police chief Eric Wollman pets Kimba while bringing him to his owner following an active shooter situation at Youtube headquarters in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
A fire engine is seen outside Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Burlingame police chief Eric Wollman hands off Kimba to his owner following an active shooter situation at Youtube headquarters in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. According to his owner, Kimba was present when the shooting occurred. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
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The San Bruno police chief said that Aghdam did not appear to have targeted particular victims when she opened fire with a legally purchased Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic handgun at an open-air plaza on the corporate campus in California's Silicon Valley. Aghdam had visited an area gun range that morning, San Bruno police said.

In some of online posts before the attack, Aghdam spoke about herself in heroic terms for surviving in a hostile world.

"I think I am doing a great job," she wrote in Persian on her Instagram account. "I have never fallen in love and have never got married. I have no physical and psychological diseases. But I live on a planet that is full of injustice and diseases."

In videos posted on her YouTube channels, which were taken down on Tuesday, Aghdam alternately bemoaned animal cruelty, promoted what appeared to be handmade jewelry and demonstrated exercise techniques. She offered few specifics about what she believed had been suppressed other than to complain that her workout videos had been flagged as adults-only content.

YouTube has long faced complaints about alleged censorship on its site, and says it attempts to balance its mission of fostering free speech while providing an appropriate and lawful environment for users.

One of her three victims, a man in his 30s, remained in San Francisco General Hospital in serious condition on Wednesday, the hospital said. Two others were released Tuesday night, it said. (Reporting by Paresh Dave and Heather Somerville; additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in ANKARA, Gina Cherelus in NEW YORK and Ben Klayman in ANN ARBOR, Michigan Writing by Rich McKay and Scott Malone Editing by Bill Trott and James Dalgleish)

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