A young, Minnesota father was fatally shot by his pregnant girlfriend as they attempted to create a viral video – in front of their three-year-old daughter.
Pedro Ruiz III, 22, was holding up a book for his 19-year-old girlfriend MonaLisa Perez to shoot as they attempted to create a video for YouTube that they hoped would rack up views and gain them internet fame.
But as Valley News Live reports, Ruiz's girlfriend missed, instead hitting him in the chest at around 6:30 p.m. Monday. The bullet eventually killed him despite the best efforts of emergency responders who landed in Halstad, western Minnesota, via a medical helicopter.
Ruiz's aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told the TV station her nephew had given Perez a .50 caliber handgun and insisted she shoot the book, thinking it would stop the bullet. She said they'd already tested it out.
"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?'" she said. "Why? Because, we want more viewers."
The Forum News Service reports that the scene unfolded in front of the couple's three-year-old daughter, while Perez is currently seven months pregnant with their second child.
Family described Ruiz to the newspaper as "thrill-seeking," a man who loved cars and adventures, and whose pranks and YouTube stunts would range from the harmless – like putting baby powder on a powdered donut – to the potentially dangerous.
This video from Ruiz's Facebook page shows him head out in the middle of a thunderstorm on a ride-on mower, setting off bottle rockets from his hands.
Virginia Ramirez, describing herself on Facebook as Ruiz's big sister, paid tribute to him, saying: "I can't seem to accept the fact that ur gone Pedro Ruiz III. Another piece of my heart is gone. I will forever miss u baby brother."
The 20-year-old girlfriend has been arrested on suspicion of reckless discharge of a firearm, the Associated Press reports, and has since been charged with second degree manslaughter.