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Distraught Family of YouTube Shooting Suspect Didn't Realize She'd Taken a Gun

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Outside the Riverside County home of YouTube shooting suspect Nasim Najafi Aghdam in Menifee, California.  (John Sepulvado/KQED)

As nearly a dozen reporters stood outside the Menifee home of 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, her mother sat inside on the family couch, sobbing. Almost 30 friends and family members surrounded her, as officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched the house.

Family members told KQED that Aghdam and her mother continually argued over her obsession with YouTube. Early Tuesday afternoon, Aghdam shot three people on the YouTube campus in San Bruno, police said, before turning the gun on herself. She died at the scene.

Aghdam's family reported her missing with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, April 2.

On Tuesday, April 3, at 1:40 in the morning, Mountain View patrol officers checked a license plate of a car that was parked in a lot and discovered that it belonged to Aghdam. Inside, police say, they found her sleeping. They talked to her for about 20 minutes, police said, and she spoke of strife with her family and her decision to leave their Riverside County home in Menifee. Aghdam told the officers she had come to the Bay Area to stay with family and was in the process of looking for a job.

Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel told KQED: "The interaction was very businesslike and calm." During their contact with her, police say Aghdam was asked a series of questions, including whether she was a danger to herself or others. They said, based on that conversation, that they felt she was not a threat and decided not to detain her.

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Mountain View police notified Aghdam's father and brother. About an hour later, the father called back the Mountain View police to let them know that Aghdam had made a series of vegan videos for her channel on YouTube and that YouTube had recently done something to her account that had caused her to become upset. The family told KQED they didn't realize Aghdam had taken a gun with her when she left the home.

ATF agents, after searching the family's Menifee home on Wednesday, told KQED that no illegally obtained firearms were found and that the family was cooperating.

A friend inside the home also told KQED that Aghdam hated YouTube and she blamed them for everything wrong in her life.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Aghdam's family filed a missing persons report on March 31. The report was filed April 2.

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