Gun shop owner remembers selling YouTube shooter a firearm

Ns News Online DeskNs News Online Desk: Three months before opening fire at the YouTube campus, Nasim Aghdam strolled into a San Diego-area gun shop and bought a 9mm Smith & Wesson — the same model the store had featured in a “12 Guns of Christmas” sale in October, according to a report.

Aghdam, who shot three YouTube employees and killed herself Tuesday, bought the gun from The Gun Range on Jan. 2 and picked it up after a mandatory 10-day waiting period, a source told the Mercury News.

She walked out with the pistol on Jan. 16, the same day YouTube announced a larger revenue crackdown on content creators like her. “It’s not like she stood out,” Manny Mendoza, the store range master and a retired law enforcement officer, told the newspaper. “I wish we could look into someone’s soul. It’s as tragic as can be.”

Mendoza said he wasn’t sure whether authorities have contacted his store, which in October advertised on its Facebook page a Christmas sale in which the gun was available for $399.99. Police have said Aghdam’s likely motive was her anger at YouTube’s recent policies that made it more difficult for people to benefit from the company’s ad revenue-sharing program.

She picked up her gun the same day YouTube’s chief product and business officers announced the company was raising requirements for creators trying to make money off their videos. The crackdown on controversial sites began last year after a backlash that followed a video by YouTube star Logan Paul showing a dead body in a Japanese forest.

San Bruno police Commander Geoff Caldwell said Aghdam fired “several” rounds during her attack. “Halfway through she exchanged magazines and continued shooting until she turned the gun on herself,” Caldwell said. One empty magazine was found at the scene, along with the gun and the second loaded magazine, he said.

On Thursday, the lone hospitalized victim, a 36-year-old man, had his condition upgraded to fair. The other two victims, a 32-year-old woman and a 27-year-old woman, have been released.

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