A Minnesota woman charged with the fatal shooting of her boyfriend told authorities it was an accident in an attempt to make a viral YouTube video.
Monalisa Perez, 19, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III, 22, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The family said the couple has a young child and that Perez is pregnant with their second baby.
Perez told authorities that Ruiz wanted to make a YouTube video of her shooting a bullet into a hardcover encyclopedia that he held against his chest, according to criminal complaint. Perez said that she fired the .50 caliber pistol from about a foot away.
Ruiz died from single gunshot wound to the chest, authorities said. The incident reportedly occurred in front of the couple’s 3-year-old daughter.
The victim’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, said that the couple often played pranks and posted them on YouTube, according to CBS affiliate Valley News Live.
“They were in love, they loved each other,” she said. “It’s just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all.”
Ruiz said that her nephew told her about the plan in advance and tried to discourage him from doing it. When she asked why he would use a gun, he replied: “Because, we want more viewers. We want to get famous.”
Another aunt of Ruiz, Lisa Primeau, told the Star-Tribune that “we called him our little daredevil.” She said he did things in the past like “jumping into the swimming pool from the top of the house, no hesitation.”
The maximum penalty for the manslaughter charge is 10 years in prison.
“The fact that she’s got to live with this for the rest of her life, that alone is a charge to me,” Claudia Ruiz said.