La MonaLisa, Ruiz and Monalisa Perez’s YouTube channel featuring snippets from their daily life and silly pranks (Perez giving Ruiz a donut dusted with baby powder instead of powdered sugar, etc.) hadn’t really taken off, so the Minnesota couple decided to up the ante.
Ruiz planned to inaugurate a new channel, Dammit Boy, with a video of Perez shooting him in the chest through an inch-and-a-half-thick hardback encyclopedia. He had practiced by shooting at another thick book to ensure it would stop a bullet.
“My channel is going to consist of a lot of crazy stuff,” the 22-year-old Ruiz said in June 2017 in what was intended to be Dammit Boy’s debut video. “Entertainment just for you guys. My thing is crazy…With this being my first video, I hope to capture all my audience, like that,” he said, snapping his fingers.
“I can’t do this babe, I am so scared. My heart is beating…” Perez said as he encouraged her to shoot. “Babe, if I kill you what’s going to happen to my life? Like, no this isn’t okay… I don’t want to be responsible.” He assured her it would be fine, so long as she hit the book (where he had scribbled in the middle, “plz hit here”) and she pulled the trigger.
“Oh, s–t,” Ruiz said as he realized he had been shot. He was dead before he could be airlifted to a hospital.
“I really have no idea what they were thinking,” Norman County Sheriff Jeremy Thornton told the New York Times. “I just don’t understand the younger generation on trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.”
A transcript from the never-posted video was part of a criminal case against Perez, who was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter. Also as part of her reported plea deal, she was forbidden from profiting in any way from her truly bizarre story and barred for life from possessing a firearm.
She resumed vlogging in July 2018.
In a video called “It’s Not Just Easy, which attracted more than 12,000 views, Perez said, “A sadness came over me deeply, it feels like. I miss Pedro a lot, guys. I’ve really learned to not show any of my emotions. I’ve really suppressed all of my feelings inside of me because I don’t want to feel anything. It’s really hard for me to get emotional now…I do cry, but not often. Especially not in front of people.”