Though YouTube prank videos have spawned public outrage and myriad arrests, perhaps the most harrowing tragedy to emerge thus far from the video genre involves the death of a 22-year-old Minnesota creator who was killed by his girlfriend on Monday in the midst of filming a prank.
Pedro Ruiz III, who headlined the La MonaLisa vlog channel with his girlfriend, 19-year-old Monalisa Perez, was shot to death in the chest while filming a video in which they believed the bullet would be stopped by a book. The incident, in which Perez shot Ruiz from about a foot away, was allegedly captured by two cameras, according to the Pioneer Press. When emergency workers arrived on the scene, they attempted to revive Ruiz, but later declared that he had died as a result of the ill-conceived prank.
Perez has subsequently been charged with second-degree manslaughter and jailed. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years or a fine of $20,000 — or both, according to BuzzFeed. The two have a three-year-old daughter, who witnessed the incident, and Perez is currently pregnant with their second child.
“They were in love,” Claudia Ruiz — Pedro’s aunt — told the Press. “It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all.”
The couple’s nascent channel, launched in March, currently counts 300 subscribers and 3,000 views. The channel’s most popular video is a gender reveal for their baby-to-be (above).