A 19-year-old from Norman County, Minnesota, has been charged with manslaughter after accidentally shooting her boyfriend while filming a YouTube video, BuzzFeed News reports. The woman, Monalisa Perez, was arrested on Monday night after calling 911 to report the accident. Her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz, was 22.
The couple was filming a video in which Ruiz was attempting to prove that a book would be able to shield him from a bullet, according to a criminal complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News. Ruiz was holding a book, apparently a “hardcover encyclopedia,” in front of his chest when Perez shot him.
Perez and Ruiz first began making videos for their YouTube channel, La MonaLisa, back in March. In the about section, the channel is billed as “the real life of a young couple who happen to be teen parents.” Most of the couple’s earlier videos are daily vlogs and simple stunts, like eating a hot pepper on camera.
On June 26th, Perez tweeted about the stunt, which she said was Ruiz’s idea.
Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever HIS idea not MINE— Monalisa Perez (@MonalisaPerez5) June 26, 2017
Ruiz’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told W-Day 6 that she tried to convince Ruiz not to use a gun, but she says he told her, “We want more viewers, we want to get famous.”
YouTube pranks have gone wrong before, but in the past it has usually been when young viewers attempt to replicate the stunts of YouTubers. As the number of people hoping for fame and money on YouTube continues to grow, it will become increasingly difficult for newcomers to differentiate themselves from the pack, and with that will come the pressure to film even more dangerous stunts.
Perez is expected to appear in court this afternoon. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, according to The New York Times.