Transcript released in fatal YouTube stunt in northwestern Minn.
FARGO - In the minutes before Pedro Ruiz III was shot and killed in a stunt intended for YouTube, he could be heard encouraging his girlfriend Monalisa Perez to pull the trigger, according to a video transcript released Friday, June 22, by the No...
FARGO – In the minutes before Pedro Ruiz III was shot and killed in a stunt intended for YouTube, he could be heard encouraging his girlfriend Monalisa Perez to pull the trigger, according to a video transcript released Friday, June 22, by the Norman County Attorney’s Office.
“Babe, I’m not doing this, I can’t,” Perez said toward the end of the transcript.
“Kay, babe,” Ruiz said.
“I don’t want to be responsible,” she said.
“You won’t as long as you hit the book,” he said. “As long as you hit the book you’ll be fine. Come on. The battery’s gonna die on it. Come closer.”
Shortly after, the transcript said a shot was fired.
“Stop,” Perez said. “Babe stop.”
Along with the transcript, Norman County Attorney James Brue’s office released several videos Ruiz and Perez made leading up to the shooting, as well as crime scene photos taken by investigators. Brue’s office, however, didn’t release video of the actual shooting, opting just for the transcript.
Explaining why video of the shooting and its aftermath was not released, Brue wrote, “I find that the video is clearly offensive to common sensibilities and is classified as private or nonpublic data.”
The footage was presumably recorded in Halstad, Minn., on June 26, 2017, the day Perez fired a powerful handgun at a thick, hardcover book that Ruiz held to his chest. He apparently believed it would be enough to stop the .50-caliber bullet.
Ruiz, 22, left behind two children he had with Perez. She was pregnant with one of the children when he died.
Perez, now 20, pleaded guilty March 14 to manslaughter in the second degree in exchange for a six-month jail sentence.
Though she pulled the trigger, Brue made it clear the idea for the “foolish stunt” came from Ruiz; that was the reason for the relatively short sentence.
In the videos provided by Brue’s office, Ruiz is seen with Perez introducing himself and his goals for his YouTube channel.
“All my role models, Nitro Circus, Jackass – big name stars, that’s who I look up to,” he said to the camera. “But my purpose is to be crazier than them. I may fail but if I fail I want to die trying. We’re all going to die anyways, just a matter of how and when.”
At this point, a church bell tolls from somewhere off camera.
Perez later brings Ruiz his gold, tiger-striped Desert Eagle pistol on a velvet pillow, which he proceeds to show to the camera. He called the bullet a .50-caliber “cannonball” and said it can go the length of three football fields in a snap of his fingers.
“The point of this video is I just really want to see if a .50-caliber bullet can go through a book,” he said. As the ultimate test of that, he’ll stand behind the book and have Perez shoot, he said.
“So if I’m gonna die, I’m pretty much ready to go to heaven right now,” he said. “If I die, I’ll be ready for Jesus. He probably won’t accept me into the pearly gates because of how stupid this is, but I have confidence that my girlfriend will hit the book and not me. Let’s do it.”
Much of the transcript shows Ruiz coaching Perez and encouraging her.
“Hey, this is the moment of truth babe,” he said at one point.
The transcript said she cried in response.