AP NEWS

Security guard arrested in shooting outside LA synagogue

February 15, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police arrested a security guard on suspicion of shooting a self-described First Amendment activist after the two engaged in a videotaped confrontation outside a Los Angeles synagogue and school.

Edduin Zelayagrunfeld, 44, was arrested Thursday for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, police said. It was unclear if he has an attorney.

The video shot with a smartphone by Zhoie Perez shows the guard telling bystanders he did not shoot her and instead fired a “warning shot” at the ground when she refused to stop filming outside the Etz Jacob Congregation/Ohel Chana High School.

Perez is heard swearing and grimacing in pain after a gunshot. A paramedic who examines her leg tells her the bullet did not create an entry wound.

She later told reporters that she suffered a “deep graze” to her leg.

Perez posted the video, nearly 40 minutes long, on her YouTube Channel Furry Potato Live, where she offers videos that push the bounds of her First Amendment rights by sometimes engaging police officers in generally polite but pointed confrontations.

She told reporters she was just capturing the synagogue’s interesting appearance Thursday when she encountered the guard.

“The guard came out and just started freaking out, started putting his hand on his gun,” she said.

Zelayagrunfeld, who is seen on the video in uniform drawing his gun and pointing it toward the ground, remained behind the synagogue’s security gates during the confrontation. Perez was on the street outside the gates.

He tells a bystander on the video that he thought Perez was trying to break in and warned her repeatedly to leave.

“I shot at the floor,” Zelayagrunfeld continues as the bystander tells him to put the gun away, adding he’s still being filmed.

The synagogue is located in the city’s heavily Jewish Fairfax District. The community has been on edge since a man shouted religious epithets and tried to run down two men outside another synagogue last November.

Mohamed Mohamed, 32, has pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime charges in that incident.

After police arrived Thursday, Perez put her phone down and continued to record. She told officers at one point she is transgender and did not want to be handcuffed.

When a police officer asks her if she wants to be searched by a man or woman, she responds, “I don’t need your attitude, lady, I just got shot.”

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Associated Press reporter Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this story.