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Psychiatrist discusses mindset of female shooter in wake of YouTube violence

Posted at 6:28 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 18:28:09-04

While officials learn more about what may have motivated a California woman to open fire at YouTube’s Headquarters Tuesday, some experts say female violence, like in this incident, is generally unheard of.

Dr. Joel Young is a staff psychiatrist with Beaumont Hospital.

“This is a most unusual situation,” he said.

Chaos erupted at YouTube’s Headquarters after a woman opened fire, injuring three people before turning the gun on herself. Police identified the shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old woman from San Diego.

Dr. Young added, “Almost never do we hear about a woman shooter.”

Aghdam was reportedly upset with YouTube’s policies. On her website, she claimed the company filtered her channels preventing her videos from getting viewed.

Dr. Young says this type of incident could stem from mental illness and be considered workplace violence, even though she wasn’t a YouTube employee.

“Paranoia and whether there are psychotic illness, that’s at play.”

Dr. Young says while it’s rare to hear about women shooters, female violence is slowly increasing but still sits at a small fraction.

“Most violence is perpetuated by men statistically year in, year out.”

Dr. Young says one of the more bizarre issues from the shooting is that Aghdam was reportedly an animal activist.

It would seem someone who has compassion for animals should have compassion for people, but Dr. Young says this could further the argument that mental health issues were at play.

“This idea that violence can come from a lot of different people even people we typically don’t suspect would be violent,” he added.

Dr. Young says yesterday’s incident should be a reminder of why mental health should be a priority in this country.