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Trans YouTube streamer shot in leg by security guard (updated)
Police arrived at what BuzzFeed News identified as the Etz Jacob Congregation and Ohel Chana High School building in Los Angeles, where the incident occurred, and arrested the guard—44-year-old Edduin Zelayagrunfeld—”on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon,” according to BuzzFeed.
In an interview with the Daily Dot, Perez said she was unaware the building was a school. “I now know it is a school, but there was no way that could have been anyone’s thought process,” she said. “It is a very small building.” As far as she is aware, Perez is not being charged with anything, despite the fact that she remembers police cuffing her almost the moment she arrived.
Perez said that many people have been commenting and calling her anti-Semitic for her video. “I am not. I have filmed mosques, Christian churches, Catholic churches,” she said. “It isn’t about the race religion or creed. It is about the First Amendment. God forbid it was some 14-year-old kid that thought that writing was badass, instead of me.”
The transgender YouTuber uploaded the incident to her channel in two separate videos, one of which has been removed. In the first, Perez can be seen wandering around the building for some time before being confronted by a guard. The streamer ignored his increasing warnings to “stay away,” before returning to the area behind the gate. At this point, the guard said “move and I’ll shoot you,” according to Perez. She was careful to keep her hands in sight, and began recording live “when I realized he was going to kill me,” she said.
It is unclear whether the shot was intended to strike Perez or the ground near her feet, however, Perez believes he was firing at her. “No he was firing at me,” she said. She recalls him lowering himself before firing, which she believes was to avoid damaging the artistry on the door and to get a clearer shot.
The situation gradually escalated in the second video. The guard drew his weapon and asked Perez why she was filming. Perez continued to ignore him, though she did adhere to his warning to stay still or be shot. Perez did not appear to move.
Then, a gunshot sounded and Perez screamed, stumbling away from the guard. “Fucker shot me in the leg,” Perez said in the clip, taking refuge behind a nearby parked car. As the guard pursued, gun still in hand, bystanders began shouting at him to put his gun away. It is unclear whether the shot was intended to strike Perez or the ground near her feet.
Police arrived not long after, tending to Perez and arresting the guard.
Perez was in the area for a consultation with her doctor at Cedar Sinai, she said. As she was heading home, she spotted the synagogue and was drawn by the artistry on the fence and windows. When she got out to get footage of the church, the guard began trying to convince her to leave. “It wasn’t an audit. It turned into a first amendment audit when the guard started putting his hand on his gun, but initially I thought it was unusual and wanted to film it,” she said.
As for her condition, Perez says she is not doing great. Luckily, she avoided the need for surgery and doctors say she will be alright, but her leg consistently pains her. She said she plans to pursue charges against Zelayagrunfeld. “Absolutely. You don’t get to shoot somebody because they are filming a building,” she said. “I was clearly on the sidewalk.”
This story has been updated following an interview with Perez.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.