20-year-old mother tried to stop her boyfriend's YouTube stunt before she shot him dead
“Babe, if I kill you what’s gonna happen to my life. Like, no this isn’t okay.”
20-year-old Monalisa Perez uttered these words just moments before she shot her boyfriend with a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, one of the most powerful handguns in the world, in what was supposed to be a death-defying stunt for her boyfriend's new YouTube channel. 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz held a hardcover encyclopedia to his chest, which was supposed to hold the bullet before it could reach him, reported Sky News.
Ruiz had convinced his girlfriend to do the prank after reassuring her with a different book he had used to try the experiment, shooting it and realizing that the bullet was stopped before it could pass through, court documents read.
"We were doing a YouTube video and he wanted to see if I could shoot his gun in a book and it went and shot him and it’s all on recording," Perez told a 911 dispatcher, calling from their property on Highway 75 in Halstad, Minnesota.
Now, a series of videos shot by the couple as well as a transcript of the video that was recorded moments before the actual shooting have been released by prosecutors in Norman County. That being said, Norman County Attorney James Brue did not release the final video after concluding that it was distressing and “clearly offensive to common sensibilities.” According to the said transcripts, Perez was hesitant to participate in the fatal stunt.
“I can’t do it, babe,” she said. “I’m so scared. (inaudible) my heart is beating out of (inaudible).”
"As long as you hit the book, you'll be fine. Come on," said Ruiz, while holding the hardcover book to his chest.
“Babe, I’m not doing this. I can’t," said Perez as her boyfriend instructed her about the distance from which the shot was to be fired.
As the cameras were rolling, she fired, and the projectile penetrated the volume and fatally wounded the young father.
Perez was sentenced to six months in prison which after she pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter back in December 2017.
The mother-of-two took a plea deal that will allow her to serve out half of her jail term in increments of 30 days per year for the next three years. She is also banned from ever possessing firearms.
Monalisa and her boyfriend already had a presence on YouTube before the incident, with their channel featuring innocent pranks such as putting baby powder on a doughnut or sneaking hot pepper into a sandwich. However, Ruiz decided that their channel needed an upgrade for them to go viral.
“What’s up everybody, it’s Dammit Boy. Why did I choose that name? Well, everything I’m going to be showing you guys on my channel, you guys are going to be saying, dammit boy,” Ruiz says in a six-minute YouTube teaser.
“My channel is going to consist of a lot of crazy stuff. Entertainment just for you guys…My thing is crazy. I’m borderline crazy. My whole thing is I love the adrenaline, the pumping, the near-death experiences every time I do something. With this being my first video, I hope I capture all of my audience like that (snaps fingers). I hope that with everything I do, you guys can just be hooked on everything I do and just watch until I fail.”
Listing his role models from Jackass and Nitro Circus, Ruiz said, “my purpose is to be crazier than them.”
“I may fail, but if I fail I want to die trying. We’re all going to die anyways – it’s just a matter of how and when.”
In another video related to the incident, the couple can be seen showing off the gold-plated Desert Eagle that would be used in the stunt and expounding its details.
“I really just want to see if a .50 caliber bullet can go through a book," Ruiz said.
The video released by prosecutors shows Ruiz acknowledging the fatal consequences of the stunt while explaining his plan that the bullet will be stopped by the book and not hit him.
“So if I’m going to die, I’m pretty much ready to go to heaven right now. If I die, I’ll be ready for Jesus. He probably won’t accept me into the pearly gates because of how stupid this is, but I have confidence that my girlfriend will hit the book and not me.”
Prior to the shooting, Perez had tweeted: "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE".
At the time of Ruiz's death, Perez was pregnant with their second child. Their three-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, was born in September. She was also present at the scene when the shooting occurred.
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
Perez could have been looking at up to 10 years behind bars had she been found guilty of the crime.
In the couple's last video together on their channel, which had 218 subscribers at the time, the family go to a fairground and Perez says: "Imagine when we have 300,000 subscribers."