Norman County, MN - In a video "prank," aspiring YouTube star MonaLisa Perez, shot her boyfriend with a Desert Eagle pistol while he held up an encyclopedia, believing that the bullet would not pass through the heavy book, according to NBC News.
The incident occurred on Monday, June 26, outside of their Halstead home. Perez and her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III, age 22, had started a You Tube channel, known as La MonaLisa, and had been making videos since May. The channel was known as a 'vlog' because the videos were all about 'stunts, challenges, pranks, and fails.'
They thought that the shooting video would increase their following.
They set up a GoPro camera on the back of a car, and another on a ladder. Once the filming started, Perez picked up a a gold .50 caliber Desert Eagle handgun, one of the most powerful pistols available, and shot Ruiz in the chest while he held a hardcover encyclopedia in front of him.
The encyclopedia idea didn't work, and the bullet traveled through it, into Ruiz's chest. She was about a foot away from Ruiz when she shot him.
Perez frantically called 911 after she shot her boyfriend, and reported an accidental shooting. EMS and Norman County deputies responded, and Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.
MonaLisa Perez stated that she did not want to do the stunt, according to court records, but Ruiz practiced shooting books, and showed off one to her that did not go through the book, in order to convince her of its safety.
About 90 minutes before she videoed the stunt gone wrong, she posted a tweet to her followers:
"Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE."
Perez and Ruiz have a three-year-old daughter, and she is pregnant with their second daughter. She has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, with a potential sentence of 10 years in jail,and/or a fine of $20,000.
In a statement, Norman County Sheriff Jeremy Thornton said, “The case remains under investigation by the Norman County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota BCA."
Ruiz was excited about the making of this video, 'imagining' what it would be like if they reached 300,000 followers, and the party they'd throw in their small town.
The Norman County Sheriff's Office is not releasing the video, and it has been removed from YouTube.