Halstad Woman Charged in Fatal YouTube Stunt

Perez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III

HALSTAD, Minn. — A Halstad woman charged in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend is out of jail on $7,000 bail, with conditions.

She told authorities it was a YouTube stunt gone wrong.

Monalisa Perez, 19, will have to wear a GPS monitor and have no access to firearms.

Perez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III.

According to a criminal complaint, Perez told authorities Ruiz wanted to make a YouTube video of her shooting a bullet into a book he was holding against his chest.

Ruiz had shown her a different book he’d shot, which the bullet didn’t go all the way through, according to the complaint.

Perez says she fired from about a foot away and it was captured on two cameras.

Authorities say Ruiz died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The victim’s aunt said the couple often played pranks and put them on YouTube.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Family members of Ruiz believe the death was a complete accident.


Claudia and Sam Ruiz, Pedro’s aunt and Uncle say Monalisa Perez was a loving girlfriend and mother.

Pedro is described as a hard worker, provider, family man and thrill seeker known for extreme stunts.

They showed a Tweet they say was published by Perez just before the incident happened.

It reads: “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. His idea, not mine.”

Family members say Pedro was talking about filming this video days before he died.

They say many friends, family members and Perez tried talking him out of it, saying it was too dangerous.

Ruiz apparently wanted to use the video to become famous on YouTube.

They say Perez is known to be willing to do anything for Ruiz.

“There’s people out there doing crazy things to get these views, to get their numbers up,” said Claudia. “I think they just need to think twice and…don’t do it.”

Pedro Ruiz leaves behind a three-year-old daughter.

Perez is seven months pregnant with Ruiz’s second child.

On KVRR Local News at 9, hear more from the family about this unexpected tragedy.

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