One of the most popular kinds of YouTube channel is the one which puts out pranks and stunts, with varying levels of success. However, those shock entertainment videos can sometimes go too far in their pursuit of internet fame.
We saw that with the DaddyOFive YouTube channel, where Mike Martin lost custody of two of his children after a series of harrowing pranks and now, another YouTuber may face jail time after a prank gone wrong. Monalisa Perez and her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III are known for their increasingly dangerous stunts, but their most recent video will be their last, after Ruiz was tragically shot dead by his 19-year-old girlfriend.With over 2,000 subscribers in just over a month’s worth of videos, the LaMonalisa channel was set for big things. These rising stars of YouTube engaged in various challenges and chronicled their lives so far, including Monalisa Perez’s pregnancy with the couple’s second child. The pair also participate in some fairly avant-garde pranks, ranging from swapping out powdered sugar for baby powder on a doughnut to Perez pranking Ruiz with the world’s hottest chilli pepper.
Earlier this week though, the YouTube shenanigans went too far. Perez teased on Twitter about their latest prank being “one of the most dangerous videos ever”. Less than two hours later, Perez phoned emergency services in Minnesota, reporting that she had accidentally shot her boyfriend in the chest.Perez was arrested later that day, and a criminal complaint was filed on Wednesday, where Perez was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Norman County Sheriff Jeremy Thornton confirmed that “the case remains under investigation by the Norman County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota BCA”, and if Perez is found guilty of the charges, she could face a $10,000 fine or up to 10 years in prison.According to court documents, Perez and Ruiz had planned to shoot a video wherein Ruiz would hold a large hardcover encyclopaedia to his chest. Perez would shoot him with a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, one of the most powerful handguns in the world, from about a foot away. Claudia Ruiz, Pedro Ruiz’s aunt who took care of the 22-year-old after his mother died at an early age, said that Ruiz had been talking about the stunt for a while.“It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all. He had told me about an idea. I said: ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it. Why are you going to use a gun? Why?’ ‘Because, we want more viewers. We want to get famous.’”
The pair had set up two cameras to record the entire exchange, but law enforcement confirmed that the footage is being used as evidence, and will not be available to the public. They also confirmed that the couple’s three-year-old daughter was present at the time and saw the entire incident unfold.