A failed YouTube stunt by a couple trying to get famous on YouTube has led to the death of a man and a woman being charged with manslaughter.
22-year-old Pedro Ruiz from Halstad, Minnesota and his pregnant girlfriend, 19-year-old Monalisa Perez, decided to carry out a stunt which involved Ruiz holding a book to his chest while Perez shoots at it.
Ruiz had convinced Perez that he had performed a similar stunt where he shot but the book kept the bullet from going all the way through. He encouraged Perez to try it on him. As the camera started rolling, Ruiz held a different book close to his chest while Perez fired a 50 caliber handgun from about one foot away. The book did not stop the bullet and it hit Ruiz in the chest, killing him.
At about 6:30 p.m. on Monday night, Norman County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 500 block of U.S. Highway 75 on a report of a shooting and on arrival, they saw Ruiz with a single gunshot wound to his chest. Efforts to save him proved abortive. A medical helicopter was called but Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. Family members have described the tragic incident as a YouTube stunt gone wrong.
Monalisa Perez, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. She told investigators the shooting was captured on video. She showed them two GoPro cameras that had been set up — one on the back of a car and one on a ladder. Deputies have seized the cameras as evidence.
Ruiz’s aunt told Valley News Live that the couple had been trying to get famous on YouTube. They had tried several other pranks and with each new one they did, they took their stunt a notch higher. Other pranks they posted to YouTube included sneaking a hot pepper into a sandwich and putting baby powder on a doughnut.
“He had told me about an idea. I said, ‘don’t do it, don’t do it,’” Claudia Ruiz said. “’Why are you going to use a gun? Why?’”
Perez appeared in Norman County District Court via interactive TV on Wednesday afternoon. She was released from jail, with bail set at $7,000, with conditions. Perez will have to wear a GPS monitor and have no access to firearms during her release. The date for her next court hearing is scheduled for July 5.