In the United States, 54% of all gun-related deaths were suicides, 43% were murders and about less than 1% are related to accidents. More Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record. But have you heard about Monaliza Perez’s story and how she accidentally killed her boyfriend?
In 2017, a 20-year-old woman in Minnesota shot her 22-year-old boyfriend through an encyclopedia from about a foot away for a YouTube video, and he died. She received a six-month prison sentence.
How Did the Prank Go Wrong?
Monaliza Perez and her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz had been documenting their daily lives in Halstad, Minnesota, by uploading videos of their pranks to their YouTube channel in the hopes of gaining internet fame. The couple had recorded some minor pranks that appeared to be harmless.
Until the fatal stunt on June 26, 2017, there was little indication of how far they were willing to go just to become online celebrities. Perez fired a powerful Desert Eagle handgun from close range that day, while Ruiz held an encyclopedia in front of his chest.
He had previously experimented and believed the thick book would protect him, but the couple’s three-year-old child and nearly 30 onlookers witnessed her firing a fatal bullet. Perez immediately dialed 911 to report that she had inadvertently shot her boyfriend. Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at their home. At the time of the shooting, Perez was expecting their second child. (Source: BBC News)
Did Monalisa Perez Go to Jail?
Perez pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in December 2017 and agreed to serve a six-month prison sentence. In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Perez agreed to serve three months in jail in one-month increments over three years, followed by three months on house arrest.
She will also be sentenced to ten years of probation and a lifetime prohibition from possessing firearms. Perez agreed not to seek financial gain from her case as part of her plea deal. Family and friends said that Ruiz’s death was an accident and that he had been planning to do the stunt for some time.
The reality is that this foolish stunt was dreamed up, planned, and executed by Pedro Ruiz, and the defendant wrongfully and tragically relied on his assurances that the stunt was safe.Attorney James Brue, Normal County
How Did the 911 Call Go?
Perez informed the 911 operator that her boyfriend had been shot. She explains how they were doing a YouTube video when the accident happened.
We were doing a YouTube video and it went wrong. Please hurry up. He wanted to see if I could shoot his gun in a book and it went and shot him and it’s all on recording. Please someone hurry up. He’s gonna die.Monaliza Perez
The 911 operator asked Perez if Ruiz was still breathing.
I don’t know he’s outside. My phone is about to die so I came in to charge it and call you guys. Can I go outside?Monaliza Perez
She headed out the door and after checking on Perez, she returned and told the 911 operator.
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 like dying. He’s dying.Monaliza Perez
(Source: BBC News)