Video: Minnesota woman foreshadowed risky YouTube stunt before shooting boyfriend
HALSTAD, Minn. — A fatal shooting that happened here Monday evening, June 26, was captured on video for YouTube while a tweet posted before the shooting promised “the most dangerous video ever.”
Details of the shooting were contained in a complaint filed in Norman County District Court Wednesday, June 28, against the victim’s girlfriend, 19-year-old Monalisa Perez of Halstad. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter after telling authorities on Monday evening that she and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III, were making a YouTube video when she shot him in the chest.
The incident took place in Halstad, about 35 miles north of Moorhead in western Minnesota.
When emergency workers arrived on the scene, they attempted life-saving measures on Ruiz but he was later declared dead.
The court complaint said that after the shooting, authorities found a gold Desert Eagle .50-caliber handgun in the grass near the couple’s home.
Also, according to the complaint, Perez told a Norman County Sheriff’s Office deputy that Ruiz wanted to make a video of her shooting a book and Ruiz believed that the book would stop the bullet.
She said the incident was recorded and she gave the deputy two cameras. Those videos are considered evidence and won’t be released until the conclusion of the case.
Perez said Ruiz set up one camera on the back of a vehicle and the other on a ladder nearby. She said she agreed to do the video and to shoot the gun after Ruiz showed her a different book that he had shot that prevented the bullet from going all the way through.
She told authorities that she shot at Ruiz from about a foot away while Ruiz held a book to his chest.
The bullet went into her boyfriend's chest.
At 5 p.m. Monday, Perez posted a Tweet stating: “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE.”
An emergency call to the Norman County Sheriff’s Office came at 6:30 p.m.
"I wish they wouldn't have done it. I wish he would've just done another prank," the victim's aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told WDAY-TV.
Claudia Ruiz said Perez is pregnant and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter witnessed the shooting.
"They were in love. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn't have happened like this. It shouldn't have happened at all," Ruiz said.
Neighbors watched as paramedics did chest compressions on Ruiz outside of the couple's home before he was lifeflighted to a Fargo hospital.
"Everyone was crying. I just couldn't take it anymore so I had to go back home," a neighbor, Wayne Cameron, told WDAY.
Perez was being held in the Northwest Regional Correction Center in
Crookston, Minn., Wednesday morning, June 28, and later on Wednesday she made an appearance on the manslaughter charge in Norman County District Court via interactive TV.
She later was released from jail after posting a cash bond of $7,000.
Here is a video taken last week and uploaded to the couple's YouTube channel on Monday, the day of the shooting.
Here is the YouTube channel the couple used.