YouTuber Monalisa Perez, 20, had hoped to become famous on the video streaming service. She and her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, 22, were known for filming their pranks and stunts and posting them online. However, while filming what would become a deadly YouTube stunt, Monalisa accidentally shot and killed Pedro.
The plan for the video was simple. Monalisa was going to fire a gun, in this case, a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, at Pedro while he held an encyclopedia up to his chest. Before attempting the deadly YouTube stunt, Monalisa Perez tweeted: “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea, not MINE.”
The shot was fired perfectly at the encyclopedia. However, the bullet easily tore through the pages of the book and struck Pedro in the chest, fatally wounding him. Monalisa immediately called 911 and told them what had happened. Monalisa told the 911 operator “We were doing a YouTube video, and it went wrong, please hurry up.”
Monalisa Perez and Pedro Ruiz III both believed that the hardcover book would be enough to stop the bullet. At the time, Monalisa was pregnant with her and Pedro’s second child. Their three-year-old daughter was present during the filming of the deadly YouTube stunt and witnessed her father’s death.
YouTuber Monalisa Perez pleaded guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge. As apart of her plea deal, she has been sentenced to 180 days in jail, plus 10 years of probation. She is allowed to serve half of her sentence over three years in 30-day increments, with the rest being carried out as an electronically monitored house arrest.
Had Monalisa Perez let her involvement in the deadly YouTube stunt go to trial, she could have faced up to 10 years in prison, as well as a $20,000 fine if she had been found guilty. She is also never allowed to own a gun or profit from the video of Pedro’s death. Though the footage still exists, Minnesota police are not planning to release it.
Monalisa and Pedro’s YouTube channel is still on the site. It contains 18 videos of the couple performing various pranks and stunts. In some of the videos, the couple talk at length about wanting to grow their audience and achieve YouTube stardom. In one video, Pedro is quoted as saying “the bigger we get, I’ll be throwing parties.”