MENIFEE, Calif. (AP/CBS SF) — Relatives of the woman suspected of shooting and wounded three people at YouTube’s headquarters before turning the gun on herself on Wednesday said they are in shock and can’t make sense of what happened.
The relatives of Nasim Aghdam distributed the statement Wednesday to reporters outside her parents’ Southern California home in the small city of Menifee.
The statement says the family expressed “utmost regret” and that Aghdam’s relatives are praying for the victims and their families.
It also called the shooting a “horrific senseless act.”
Earlier Wednesdya, law enforcement officers visited at a gun range not far from the YouTube headquarters where Aghdam shot and wounded three people before she killed herself.
The five South San Francisco police officers arrived Wednesday afternoon after two police investigators and one officer from the nearby San Bruno police spent nearly two hours at the Jackson Arms Shooting Range in South San Francisco.
Authorities have said Nasim Aghdam visited a gun range before the rampage at YouTube.
The Jackson Arms Shooting Range has surveillance cameras inside and outside of the facility and is about three miles from YouTube’s headquarters.
San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said Wednesday morning that 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam had visited a gun range Tuesday morning.
“Investigators also learned the suspect went to a local gun range yesterday, yesterday morning, prior to visiting YouTube,” said Barberini.
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Barberini declined to identify which gun range. He also said officers at the scene recovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun that was registered to Aghdam.
Aghdam later drove onto the YouTube headquarters Tuesday, parked in a parking lot and then shot and wounded three people before killing herself with a self-inflicted gunshot.
Of the three shooting victims — two women ages 27 and 32 and a 36-year-old man — the two women were discharged from the hospital Tuesday night while the male victim has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, hospital officials said Wednesday morning.
Investigators were searching two homes in Southern California for information about the attack or motive.
“San Bruno investigators, with the assistance of ATF, are in the process of executing search warrants at two residences in Southern California believed to be associated with our suspect,” said Barberini. “Investigators will also be working to gain access to and review all social media related posts associated with the suspect in an effort to further comprehend the motive for this crime.”
Aghdam had posted messages about her growing anger at what she believed was YouTube suppressing or reducing her video views on her YouTube channel. On Monday, Aghdam’s father told CBS Los Angeles 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.
Mountain View police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said officers from her agency located Nasim Aghdam sleeping in her car in a parking lot around 2 a.m. Tuesday, but she was not taken into custody.
On Wednesday, Mountain View police issued a detailed statement about that interaction, saying that when Aghdam was found, she told officers she had decided to leave her family’s Riverside County home a few days prior due to family issues.
According to the statement, “She stated she had come to the area to stay with family and while she was currently living out of her vehicle, she was in the process of looking for a job. During our contact with her, she was asked a series of questions including, but not limited to, if she was a danger to herself or others. At no point during our roughly 20 minute interaction with her did she mention anything about YouTube, if she was upset with them, or that she had planned to harm herself or others. Throughout our entire interaction with her, she was calm and cooperative.”
Aghdam was let go after police said, “she in no way met any reason for us to speak with her further or possibly detain her.”
Aghdam’s family was then contacted.
“At no point during that conversation did either Aghdam’s father or brother make any statements regarding the woman’s potential threat to, or a possible attack on, the YouTube campus. Also, there was no indication from either Aghdam or her family that she may have been in possession of any weapons,” the statement said.
About an hour after that phone call, Mountain View police said Aghdam’s father — Ismail Aghdam — called back to say she had made a series of vegan videos and that she believed YouTube had done something to her videos that caused her to become upset. The police statement said, “Aghdam’s father stated that she may have been in the area because of this. He did not seemed concerned that she was in the area, and wanted to simply let us know that may have been a reason for her move up here. Once again, at no point did her father or brother mention anything about potential acts of violence or a possibility of Aghdam lashing out as a result of her issues with her videos. They remained calm throughout this second phone call.”
Ismail Aghdam told CBS Los Angeles his daughter told family members that she believed the company was suppressing her videos, which included segments about veganism, animal cruelty and exercise, along with glamour shots of herself.
When the family realized she was close to YouTube’s headquarters, they claim they told police she said the company was “ruining her life.” Her father said police told the family they would keep an eye on her.
Mountain View police disputed the father’s statement Wednesday.
San Bruno police said Wednesday they couldn’t say what information was relayed to them from the Mountain View police department.