Reports are still rolling out of Silicon Valley after news broke that a woman opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters. While officials called it a domestic dispute, where the assailant shot at her boyfriend, that didn’t stop the right on Twitter from beginning to wildly speculate on motives and identity.
Update 10:18am CT, April 4: The shooting suspect has been ID’ed as 39-year-old San Diego resident Nasim Aghdam. Authorities have backpedaled on initial reports that she was a spurned lover, and have yet to designate a clear motive. However, Aghdam was angry at YouTube and actively wrote against it on social media.
Far-right site the Gateway Pundit has pushed willfully false and intentionally misleading narratives in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings and Tuesday was no different.
Moments after news broke that the woman was wearing a headscarf, Lucian Wintrich, White House correspondent for the site, called the shooter a “diversity hire.”
As reports of a headscarf being worn came out—a possible signifier of Muslim identity—leading conservatives jumped on the news to dog whistle about terrorism, in contrast to how they often stay silent when white men commit similar atrocities.
ABC reported that the shooter at the YouTube HQ is a white, adult female wearing a dark top and a headscarf.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 3, 2018
KSAT: Law enforcement sources tell Bay Area ABC affiliate that the YouTube shooting suspect is an 'adult female wearing a dark top and head scarf'
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) April 3, 2018
Police almost instantly, however, had said there was no link to terrorism. At least three people were taken to hospitals afterward, and the shooter was pronounced dead.