A pregnant 19-year-old with a three-year-old daughter has been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing her long-term boyfriend and the father of her children, because the two were performing an extraordinarily stupid stunt video to help them become YouTube stars.
According to Buzzfeed, Monalisa Perez started her YouTube channel in March and it had just 300 subscribers. Most of the videos were of Perez and her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, doing things like going to ultrasound appointments, doing things with their daughter, and pulling pranks on each other. The pranks were things like covering doughnuts in baking soda or hiding hot peppers in a sandwich. But they wanted to be famous, so according to Perez, Ruiz came up with the idea of having her shoot him close range while he held up a hardcover book to block the bullet.
Perez told police that Ruiz had been trying to convince her to do the book-shooting stunt for some time, but she had resisted. She said their friends and family knew about the gun stunt Ruiz wanted to do, too, and they all tried to talk him out of it.
“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?'” said Claudia Ruiz, Pedro’s aunt. She says that he told her they wanted to do the stunt “because we want more viewers. We want to get famous.”
Perez says Ruiz finally convinced her to do the stunt that was meant to make them famous. She told police that Ruiz had convinced her by shooting a different book and showing her that it had stopped the bullet, so she relented and agreed to do it. She Tweeted about it on Monday, writing:
Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever😳😳 HIS idea not MINE🙈
— Monalisa Perez (@MonalisaPerez5) June 26, 2017
An hour and a half after posting that Tweet, Ruiz was dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. Perez had shot him close-range with a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol, which the Washington Post calls “one of the most powerful semiautomatic pistols in the world.” The bullet went right through the book and hit Ruiz in the chest. Perez called 911 as soon as it happened, but Ruiz died at the scene. Police have reportedly taken the video cameras as evidence.
Ruiz was raised by his aunts after his mother died when he was small, and the aunts say they are supporting Perez. They say this was an accident, and a stupid, stupid idea, but they don’t want Perez to go to jail. She and Ruiz had been together for six years and were in love, and they have a little girl together and a little boy on the way.
Perez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and faces up up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, or both.
(Image: YouTube / La MonaLisa)