Video shows police talking to YouTube shooter hours before attack

The footage shows Mountain View officers approaching Nasim Aghdam, 38, asleep in her car and letting her know that she has been classified as a missing person

Dig deeper into the tactical lessons learned from the YouTube HQ shooting with this expert analysis from P1 Columnist Ron LaPedis. 

By Teri Figueroa
The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A Bay Area police department on Friday released police body camera images of interactions between two of its officers and a woman who would open fire inside the YouTube campus hours later.

The footage shows Mountain View police officers approaching Nasim Aghdam, 38, asleep in her car in a shopping center parking lot after 1:35 a.m April 3 and letting her know that she has been classified as a missing person out of San Diego County.

The woman in a pink hoodie and black yoga pants appears to be calm and cooperative, answering questions and shaking her head slightly when police ask whether she is suicidal, or wants to hurt herself or others.

During the interaction with police, Aghdam gives no overt indication of the terror that she will inflict less than 12 hours later. Authorities say she slipped onto the tech company’s grounds the next afternoon and opened fire, injuring three people before turning the gun on herself — taking her own life.

“In this instance if an individual is cooperative and does not present any sort of threat, continuing to unnecessarily question or delay them can lead to an unwarranted detention,” Mountain View police said in a lengthy statement regarding release of the footage release and an explanation of actions by the officers.

Mountain View Police Department released body camera footage and a statement regarding officer interactions with Nasim Aghdam. Watch and read it here

The department released more than 30 minutes of recordings, including Aghdam’s interactions with both officers who spoke with her, and the call from a department dispatcher to a San Diego County sheriff’s dispatcher to discuss Aghdam’s status as a missing person.

In the video, Aghdam tells police she left home because “We don’t get along together, so I left them.”

She later says she left San Diego two days earlier, driving directly to Northern California. Eventually, one of the officers asks her why she chose Mountain View. Aghdam replies first that she needed to sleep, then expands her answer.

“I wanted to get out of those areas, out of San Diego,” Aghdam said. “I have memories I don’t want to have. Somewhere new.”

Near the end of the interaction, police tell her that they have to notify her father that she has been found and does not wish to contact her family.

Her family members, who live in Menifee in Riverside County, have said that they did get that early-morning call from police, but called them back to say that they thought Aghdam might be in the Bay Area because she had been angry with YouTube over its policies.

Aghdam had her own channel, posting sometimes bizarre videos, focusing on workouts and veganism.

In releasing the body camera footage, Mountain View police said the department had confirmed that San Bruno authorities no longer needed the video as part of their investigation into the attack.

“We understand the public interest in MVPD's footage, and we believe that sharing our officers' footage is tantamount to our constant pursuit of transparency,” department officials stated. “To that end, we are now able to provide the content… and we thank you for your patience.”

©2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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