Monalisa Perez, 20, and her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz, 22, would do anything for YouTube views.

Even if it meant pulling out a gun.

Screenshot/Valley News

Perez and Ruiz were aspiring YouTube stars, filming wacky pranks embedded in their everyday lives.

But their latest prank, which was taken too far, will be their last.


Ruiz insisted Perez take a 50 caliber handgun and shoot it at a book he was holding. They believed the book would block the bullet.

Before the accident, Perez tweeted:

Ruiz’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, spoke with Valley News about the incident. She said:

“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.”

According to Claudia, the couple had tested the prank beforehand. Ruiz thought that the addition of a gun in their video would amp up their view count.

Claudia can’t believe that they thought the prank would work:

“I don’t know why they thought the book was supposed to stop the bullet.”

Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perez has been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. She is currently seven months pregnant with the couple’s second child.

Screenshot/Valley News

Claudia told Valley News that she thinks Ruiz’s death is punishment enough for Perez:

“The fact that she has got to live with this for the rest of her life, that alone, is a charge to me.”

The unborn baby will take on his deceased father’s name: Pedro.


When handling a weapon, it is important to take all necessary precautions. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), there were 130,557 deaths in 2013 from accidental injuries.

In 2015, 489 people were killed in an unintentional firearm shooting in the United States.

If your family has a gun in the home, follow these tips to keep your loved ones safe:

  • Keep firearms unloaded when not in use
  • Don’t touch the trigger unless you actually intend to shoot
  • When unloading gun, ensure muzzle is pointed away from you or any nearby persons

As for Ruiz’s death, Claudia calls it a tragic “prank gone wrong”:

“They were in love. They loved each other… It shouldn’t of happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all.”

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