On Monday night, a 19-year-old Minnesota woman was arrested for shooting her boyfriend to death as part of a YouTube stunt for her blog.
The criminal complaint in the case states that Monilisa Perez, who is pregnant, told police that her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz, 22, wanted to make a YouTube video of her shooting a book while he was holding it; Ruiz thought the bullet would be stopped by the book. Ruiz had set up a GoPro camera and another camera to record the shooting.
Prior to the incident, Perez had tweeted:
After she shot Ruiz, Perez called 911. When police arrived, they attempted to save Ruiz but he died at the scene. Perez told police Ruiz had shown her a different book which a bullet did not penetrate; she acknowledged to police that she shot Ruiz from one foot away using a .50 caliber Desert Eagle firearm.
Perez was charged with manslaughter in the second degree, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years or a fine of $20,000 or both.
As Buzzfeed noted, “Perez had started a YouTube channel in March which aimed to show the real life of a young couple who happen to be teen parents.’’ She had uploaded YouTube videos showing her and Ruiz doing "pranks," "stunts," and "challenges."
The couple already had a three-year-old daughter, who was shown in some of the videos. Ruiz's aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told WDAY-TV that Ruiz had told her he wanted to try the stunt "because we want more viewers, we want to get famous." She added, "He had told me about that idea and I said, 'Don't do it. Don't do it. Why are you going to use a gun? Why?' They were in love, they loved each other. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all."
In a video that she posted last week on YouTube, Perez, who was 25 weeks pregnant, stated, “I’m just happy that Pedro is home now so I have him to look forward to every night … I'm a little nervous for things to change, but I think it's normal to be nervous.”