A woman fatally shot her boyfriend in the chest during a YouTube prank designed to boost her online profile.
MonaLisa Perez, 19, from Minnesota, was charged with second-degree manslaughter after shooting her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III, who was just 22-years-old, in the chest from 0.3 metres away.
According to Perez, who is pregnant, the shooting occurred after Ruiz had asked her to fire a gun into a book held to his chest on camera, in order to become famous for the daring – but ultimately fatal – stunt.
The couple were expecting a child and had become well-known on the online platform for their Mami Vs. Papi viral videos.
Authorities report their 3-year-old child was present when the shot was fired from a .50 caliber handgun at 6.30pm on Monday in the couple’s home in Halstad.
Perez died at the scene before he could be air-lifted to hospital for treatment.
Perez had tweeted her worries about the couple’s latest and final stunt, 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
The victim’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told WDAY-TV her nephew told her the pair wanted to do the stunt, in which the book was supposed to stop the bullet entering his chest, ‘because we want more viewers, we want to get famous’.
The grieving aunt added:
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?’ They were in love, they loved each other. It was just a prank gone wrong.
If convicted, Perez could face a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000. It does beg the question – yet again – about whether better educations regarding firearms could prevent tragedies like this one occurring.