A woman from Minnesota, United States has been charged with murder after a YouTube stunt went horribly wrong.
The woman, 19-year-old Monalisa Perez, along with her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz, had planned the deadly stunt to get more followers on social media. Reports state the duo had decided that Perez would shoot at a book held right in front of her boyfriend’s chest, thinking the book will stop the bullet.
However, the bullet ripped through the book and hit Ruiz’s chest killing him. The couple’s three-year-old child and around 30 onlookers watched as Perez, one foot away, fired the bullet into Ruiz’s chest.
Ruiz’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, said her nephew had told her he wanted to perform the stunt “because we want more viewers, we want to get famous”, WDAY-TV reported.
“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?'” Claudia Ruiz told the news channel. “They were in love, they loved each other,” she said. “It was just a prank gone wrong,” she said.
Perez, who is pregnant, is now facing charges of second-degree manslaughter. Her hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
County Attorney James Brue said the book used during the stunt was a hardcover encyclopaedia and the weapon was a .50-calibre Desert Eagle handgun. Police have seized two cameras used for recording the act.
While talking to the police, Perez said the stunt was Ruiz’s idea, and her boyfriend had to convince her to do it. She also tweeted a day before saying she wasn’t convinced about the stunt.
“Everyone was crying. I was standing behind that tree over there. And that was it. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I had to go back home,” neighbour Wayne Cameron told WDAY-TV.
The couple had started a YouTube channel in March, to showcase “the real life of a young couple who happen to be teen parents”.