Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Fringe YouTube Personality Shot By Security Guard After Filming Outside LA Synagogue

A fringe YouTube personality was shot by a Los Angeles synagogue’s security guard after she live-streamed herself standing in front of the gate to the building.

Zhoie Perez, 45, was shot Thursday outside the Etz Jacob Torah Center after filming for several minutes a guard gripping a handgun in reaction to her presence. She was taken to hospital in stable condition and her life was not in danger.

The guard later said that the shot was meant to be a warning.

The incident was posted on YouTube by an account called Furry Potato Live, which has videos of Perez and others confronting police to test their rights. Perez can be heard getting shot in the leg at about 4:05. The guard grips his gun for about three minutes before firing the shots, becoming increasingly anxious about Perez’s presence.

After he fires a shot, Perez can be heard yelling, “Fucker shot me! Fucker shot me in the leg! Fuck!”

The video below may not be appropriate for all viewers.

After being shot, Perez backs off to behind a car as onlookers gather around her and call for medical help. The guard can be heard saying that Perez was attempting to “break inside” the synagogue. Perez later told a local TV station that the shot had only grazed her leg.

Perez refers to herself as a “First Amendment auditor” — someone who tests the limits of their constitutional rights by filming the reactions of law enforcement and security guards at places like post offices and power plants, the Daily Beast reported. She posted the video of her getting shot to the YouTube channel Furry Potato, one of several that are part of a new trend of activists trying to taunt and provoke law enforcement.

The Ohel Chana High School, which is located in the same building as the synagogue, told parents that she was shot after “canvassing” around the property. It was after she “became belligerent,” the school wrote to parents.

“An individual was filming our girls at the school. In the building. The perimeter of the building including all the windows and exits. This caused a great deal of anxiety to both our staff and our students,” Yehudis Farkash, the school’s principal, told reporters. “During the incident we did try to keep the girls calm and the building was placed on lockdown.”

Perez, who was released from the hospital later Thursday, said that she was trying to film the architecture of the synagogue, according to the LA Times.

“I was just filming the exterior of the synagogue here, and getting a lot of like, the architecture, and all that, and the guard came out and just started freaking out, started putting his hand on his gun,” she said.

The guard, identified as Edduin Zelayagrunfeld, 44, was detained by police and later arrested and charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon with a firearm, a local CBS affiliate reported Thursday. Perez has not been charged with a crime.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.