HALSTAD, Minn. – A Minnesota man is dead after his family says he instructed his girlfriend to shoot at a book he was holding for a YouTube stunt, KVLY-TV reports.
Pedro Ruiz, 22, always said he wanted a big family in his home in Halstad, Minnesota, according to his aunt, Claudia Ruiz. Her nephew's girlfriend, 19-year-old Monalisa Perez, the mother of his first child, is seven months pregnant with their second.
Now, Perez faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter after a court appearance Wednesday, according to the Pioneer Press. She was released on a $7,000 bond.
"They were in love. They loved each other. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn't have happened like this. It shouldn't have happened at all," Ruiz said. "He wanted to have so many babies. I remember him telling me."
Around 6:30 Monday night, the Norman County Sheriff's Office was called to the 500 block of U.S. Highway 75 in Halstad on a report of a shooting. When police arrived on scene they closed the stretch of Highway 75. A med helicopter was called in as first responders performed chest compressions on Ruiz, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dreams of YouTube success
The couple were trying to achieve YouTube fame – to get views, subscribers and notoriety – so they tried amping up their pranks, according to KVLY.
According to court documents, Perez shot Ruiz at close range with a .50 caliber handgun after he mistakenly thought the book he was holding would stop the bullet. Perez tweeted Monday night, "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE."
"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,'" Ruiz's aunt remembers. She said they claimed to have tested the stunt.
"I don't know why they thought the book was supposed to stop the bullet," said Ruiz. "The fact that she has got to live with this for the rest of her life, that alone, is a charge to me," Ruiz said.
This was the last video uploaded to the couple's YouTube account:
CNN contributed to this report.