Avery Kotler recalled the terrifying moment when she thought she could’ve become an active shooter’s victim after a dangerous classroom prank during a lecture.
“I’m just thinking that I don’t wanna know what’s inside that briefcase,” said the USC junior.
It was a prank by Eric Kanevsky’s whose youtube creates absurd pre-tenses in public places, then records bystanders’ reactions for comedic value.
He’s pulled similar stunts at other campuses, including at UCLA.
“The climate of the world right now is, like, not the time to have a prank where you’re scaring a large group of people,” Kotler said.
A USC lawsuit cites an incident on March 29, when Kanevsky and others walked into a lecture on the Holocaust that Avery and more than 50 other students were attending on-campus.
In a text to NBC4, Kanevsky says that he’s been falsely accused of bringing a gun on-campus, and that the class was not targeted because of the professor’s topic.
He adds that he, himself, is Jewish.
Avery says his religion or ethnicity is irrelevant.
It’s alarming to anyone, Jewish or not, Kotler said.
Students her age all underwent active shooter drills in high school, she says.
When Kanevsky walked in, dressed in black, face tattooed, yelling and carrying a silver briefcase, everyone’s first reaction was to flee.
She says people could have been trampled. She says people left backpacks and laptops as they charged out.
Who knows what kind of trauma they took with them, she says.
In the lawsuit, USC is asking for damages and attorneys’ fees and a restraining order against all the youtubers involved.
If the university prevails, they’ll be barred from entering all campus properties.
Kanevsky has not responded to a request for an interview.