Family members of the 39-year-old self-described “vegan bodybuilder” and animal rights activist who opened fire with a 9mm handgun at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, California Tuesday say they told authorities about her potential vendetta against the video platform. Police, however, deny being specifically warned about the threat she posed to YouTube.
The woman’s father told the Bay Area News Group that he contacted authorities on Monday morning after being unable to reach his daughter via cell phone for two days. He says he told authorities that she was angry with YouTube because of what she believed was the site’s unfair de-monetization of her video content. He said that when Mountain View police contacted him at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday to inform him that they’d found his daughter sleeping in her car, he reiterated his warning.
Her brother likewise claims to have warned police that she might target YouTube. When he learned that she was in Mountain View, he says he contacted authorities and told them she might try to take action against YouTube.
“I Googled ‘Mountain View’ and it was close to YouTube headquarters, and she had a problem with YouTube,” he told KGTV. “So I called that cop again and told him there’s a reason she went all the way from San Diego to there, so she might do something.”
Though police told him they’d monitor his sister, she was able to go to a target range and then open fire at YouTube less than 12 hours later. “So they didn’t do anything and she got killed,” her brother told the outlet. “And three or four more people got hurt.”
However, police have presented a different account of the contact with the shooter’s family.
“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,” said the Mountain View police. “Throughout our entire interaction with her, she was calm and cooperative.”
Police say that while they did speak to both the father and brother, “at no point did her father or brother mention anything about potential acts of violence or a possibility of [the suspect] lashing out as a result of her issues with her (YouTube) videos.”
Police say that the shooter went to a practice range hours before she stepped onto the YouTube campus, CNN reports.
Around 1 p.m., she opened fire at the headquarters, apparently targeting victims randomly. She shot three people; two have been released from the hospital while one remains in serious condition. She then turned the weapon on herself and took her own life.
Police have confirmed that her suspected motive is a grievance with YouTube for what she described as its “dictatorial” policies that resulted in her videos’ loss of viewers and money.
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