YouTube Stunt Ends With Teen Killing Boyfriend: Cops
Book was supposed to stop a bullet; it didn't
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2017 2:05 PM CDT
A still from the couple's most recent YouTube video.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A Minnesota teen is charged with manslaughter after what police say was a YouTube stunt gone fatally wrong. Monalisa Perez, 19, told authorities she was making a video with boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III, 22, outside their home Monday night that involved her shooting a book Ruiz was holding to his chest. Ruiz thought the book would stop the bullet, and Perez says she agreed to the stunt after he showed her another book that had halted a bullet, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Police say she shot Ruiz with a .50-caliber handgun from about a foot away, but the book (a hardcover encyclopedia, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune) did not stop the bullet, which entered his chest. Two cameras, both of which were turned over to authorities, recorded the fatal shooting.

Emergency workers could not save Ruiz, who was later declared dead. Ruiz's aunt says the couple's 3-year-old daughter saw the shooting. Perez, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter, is also currently pregnant with a boy due in September. The couple often recorded YouTube videos together—Perez's channel can be seen here—and just an hour before the shooting, Perez had posted on Facebook that they were in the process of making Ruiz his own channel, which would be full of "crazy stuff." "They were in love. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this," Ruiz's aunt tells WDAY-TV. "I wish they wouldn’t have done it. I wish he would’ve just done another prank." Another aunt says Ruiz's family is supporting Perez: The death of her partner of six years is "the worst punishment she can get."

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