Woman kills boyfriend with single gunshot in YouTube stunt gone wrong

Screengrab of one of the couple's previous vlogs together.
PHOTO: Youtube

A gamble for YouTube fame resulted in tragedy for a young couple from Minnesota.

Monalisa Perez, 19, shot her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III, 22, with a gun for a YouTube video, not knowing that she would lose him forever.

The idea was for him to hold a thick book in front of his chest, which would stop the bullet as she fired at him with a gun.

According to a report from NBC News, the young couple had been making YouTube videos together since May, filming vlogs of stunts, challenges and pranks.

The most recent video of Perez and Ruiz doing stunts together on their joint YouTube channel.Photo: Youtube

This time, Ruiz had the idea to hold a hardcover encyclopedia in front of him while his girlfriend shot a .50-calibre Desert Eagle pistol - considered one of the most powerful pistols in the world - at him.

Earlier that day, Perez posted a tweet expressing some nerves about their latest stunt:

But Ruiz had convinced her that the performance was safe, showing her a different book he had practiced with earlier that the bullet did not penetrate all the way through.

Sadly, the outcome was different for the real shot. 

The bullet, which was fired from only one foot away (about 0.3 metres), went straight through the encyclopedia and into Ruiz's chest; he died at the scene.

The couple had set up a GoPro camera and another camera placed high up on a nearby ladder to record the stunt.

Both cameras are now being used as evidence for the investigation.

According to Rolling Stone, the criminal complaint stated that Perez could face a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000 for second-degree manslaughter if she is convicted.

Ruiz and Perez had been together for six years and have a 3-year-old daughter, Ruiz's aunt Lisa Primeau told StarTribune.

Perez is also pregnant with their second child, a son due in September, according to a BBC article.

"They were in love, they loved each other," another one of Ruiz's aunts, Claudia Ruiz, told WDAY-TV.

"It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn't have happened like this. It shouldn't have happened at all."

thanhb@sph.com.sg

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