Pregnant Woman Begged for Help After Killing Her Boyfriend in YouTube Stunt Gone Wrong
A pregnant Minnesota woman who fired a fatal bullet into her boyfriend's chest as part of a video stunt gone terribly wrong last month made an immediate call to 911
The pregnant Minnesota woman who fired a fatal bullet into her boyfriend’s chest last month as part of a video stunt gone terribly wrong made an immediate call to 911 and pleaded with an emergency dispatcher for help as she watched the father of her unborn baby bleed to death, PEOPLE confirms.
Investigators this week released a transcript of the conversation that 19-year-old Monalisa Perez had with 911 on June 26 after shooting 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III.
Authorities have said the couple, who also have a 3-year-old daughter, wanted to become YouTube stars and used two cameras to capture the deadly incident.
The two began posting videos to YouTube in May and hoped to grow their slowly-swelling popularity by filming a stunt outside Perez’s home in which she shot directly at an encyclopedia that Ruiz was holding in front of his chest, according to the criminal complaint against Perez, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
Perez later told law enforcement that both she and Ruiz believed the book would stop the bullet, the complaint states.
In a tweet apparently sent by Perez earlier that day, she wrote, “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever😳😳 HIS idea not MINE.”
Standing just a foot from Ruiz, police said Perez pointed a powerful handgun at his chest and fired off one round — killing him and leaving her to face a second-degree manslaughter charge.
After he was shot, Ruiz dropped to the ground and Perez ran into her house, in Halstad, Minnesota, where she plugged her dying smartphone into the wall and called 911, police said.
Perez initially told the dispatcher she and Ruiz had both been shot. “We were doing a YouTube video, and it went wrong,” she said, according to the transcript. “Please hurry up. … My God, hurry up, please!”
Perez explained what happened and told the operator the entire thing was caught on video.
She continued to beg for help for her boyfriend, asking the dispatcher repeatedly when emergency responders would be arriving and how close they were to her location. Ambulance personnel had difficulty finding her address, at one point requesting directions from Perez.
“He’s gonna die,” she said on the call, before adding, “Oh my God, I knew…” — words authorities now allege suggest she was aware of how dangerous their stunt was.
At that point Perez ran from her charging phone to check on Ruiz outside. She returned frantic, saying, “Oh, my God, he’s dead! He looks like he’s dying, ma’am. He’s all blue. Please hurry up, ma’am. … He’s dying. He’s dying!”
Prosecutors say they have no plans to release the fatal footage.
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According to the complaint against her, Perez told investigators that Ruiz had practiced the stunt before, shooting other books that had halted the path of the bullet. He had even shown one of the books to his girlfriend, trying to convince her the stunt was safe, she said.
Efforts to reach Ruiz’s family have been unsuccessful, but an aunt described him to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in Juneas “our little daredevil” and said he was studying to be a foreman while working at a railway company.
Ruiz’s aunt told the Star-Tribune at the time that her family was supportive of Perez after the shooting.
“It’s a tragic incident,” she said. “What she did … she has to live with that. It’s the worst punishment she can get. She is pregnant with their second kid. It’s just heartbreaking.”
If convicted of manslaughter, Perez faces up to 10 years in prison. It was unclear Thursday if she had entered a plea to the charge or had retained a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
She has been released on $7,000 bail on the condition she wears a GPS monitor. She is also barred from having access to firearms. Efforts to reach her directly were not immediately successful.