'He's gonna die' Pregnant woman's 911 call recounts YouTube stunt that killed boyfriend
HALSTAD, Minn. — The pregnant woman who pulled the trigger in an ill-conceived stunt video-recorded for YouTube last month pleaded to an emergency dispatcher for help as she watched the life drain from her wounded boyfriend outside their northwestern Minnesota home.
A transcript of that call to 911 for Norman County on June 26, released this week, reveals the frantic scene in the moments after 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III was shot with his high-powered handgun by 19-year-old Monalisa Perez, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Two cameras were rolling as Ruiz's script, crafted in pursuit of internet fame, was played out in front of the couple's home on Highway 75 in Halstad.
Authorities say Ruiz held up a hardcover encyclopedia against his chest, and Perez stood barely a foot away and squeezed off a shot from a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, trying to see whether the bullet would go through the book.
As soon as Ruiz went down with their 3-year-old daughter nearby, Perez ran inside to plug in her dying cellphone and call 911, according to the transcript.
"We were doing a YouTube video, and it went wrong," she said early on to the dispatcher. "Please hurry up. ... My God, hurry up, please!"
Perez repeats the outline of the stunt to the dispatcher and reveals that "it's all on recording."
Her pleas for help quickly persist, explaining that "he's gonna die."
Soon, however, she realizes that emergency responders won't make it to the house in time.
"Oh, my God, he's dead! He looks like he's dying, ma'am. He's all blue. Please hurry up, ma'am. ... He's dying. He's dying!"
At one point in the call, Perez signaled her sense of dread about the stunt, saying, "Oh, my God, I knew ..."
Her apprehension was spelled out more fully on her Twitter account, when she wrote a few hours before the shooting, "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE."
The county attorney's office said there are multiple videos of the killing, which are being withheld by investigators.
Perez has a YouTube channel with many videos the couple have made involving various stunts and pranks. One video that went up the day before the shooting is titled "Doing Scary Stunts at the Fair Part I." It shows the couple attending a fair several days earlier.
At one point in the video, which has been watched more than 1.6 million times, Perez said, "Imagine when we have 300,000 subscribers." Ruiz replies, "I told them, the bigger we get, I'll be throwing parties."
This article was published with permission of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.