A Florida couple’s YouTube stunt went horribly wrong when a woman shot her boyfriend in the chest, killing him instantly.
19-year-old Monalisa Perez and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III were filming a stunt for their YouTube channel when Perez shot Ruiz who was holding a book against his chest.
Police say Perez shot Ruiz with a powerful .50-caliber Desert Eagle® pistol. The pistol is a favored prop in many television shows, movies and video games.
The tragic incident happened Wednesday outside their northwestern Minnesota home.
The couple’s 3-year-old child was nearby and may have witnessed the fatal shooting, which was captured on two cameras. Police say they will not release the video footage to the public.
Perez and Ruiz were hungry for YouTube stardom. They often filmed themselves performing risky stunts for YouTube views.
Ruiz practiced the stunt by firing a bullet through a hardcover encyclopedia. He told Perez the bullet did not go all the way through the book.
Authorities say Perez pulled the trigger while standing about 12 inches away from Ruiz who was holding the book against his chest.
Lisa Primeau, an aunt who “practically raised” Ruiz after his mother died when he was young, said Perez and Ruiz were high school sweethearts.
Primeau said Ruiz was always “putting a dangerous twist on everything he did.” His antics included “jumping into the swimming pool from the top of the house, no hesitation. He was a crazy driver with go-carts.”
She said Ruiz told her about the stunt, saying he wanted more YouTube views. “We want to get famous,” she quoted Ruiz.
“He had told me about that idea,” the aunt told WDAY-TV, “and I said, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Why are you going to use a gun? Why?'”
Perez, who is pregnant with the couple’s 2nd child, was arrested Wednesday and charged with 2nd degree manslaughter. She is being held in jail without bail.