A teenager allegedly shot her boyfriend who was trying to catch a bullet with an encyclopaedia for YouTube

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Monalisa Perez pictured with her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III, whom she allegedly killed.
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YouTube/La MonaLisa

A Minnesota teenager allegedly killed her boyfriend while trying to film a dangerous stunt for their YouTube channel.

Monalisa Perez, 19, has been charged with manslaughter after her partner Pedro Ruiz III, 22, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

According to local media, Perez shot Ruiz with a Desert Eagle handgun while he held a thick, hardback encyclopaedia against his chest, which was meant to stop the bullet.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that the pair had set up cameras outside their home in Halstad, Minnesota, to record the attempt on Monday evening

Their three-year-old daughter was reportedly watching when Perez fired from a range of about 30 cm.

Perez, who is pregnant with a second child, tweeted earlier that day that they were planning “one of the most dangerous videos ever”, which was “HIS idea not MINE.”

The couple ran a YouTube channel, La MonaLisa, which promises its 2,000 subscribers a new video every week. Most posts are challenges, stunts and pranks, as well as a record of Perez’s pregnancy.

A charging document obtained by the Star Tribune detailed how Perez claimed she was convinced to go through with the idea by Ruiz. She said he had shown her another book which he shot, but which managed to block the bullet.

A local TV station, Valley News Live, reported that the local sheriff’s office were first on the scene after the shooting, and called in a medical helicopter to evacuate Ruiz. He was given first aid and chest compressions, but was later pronounced dead at the scene. Local prosecutors say that two cameras were recording at the time of the shooting, and that they have seized the video files as evidence.

Perez was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

She paid a $7,000 (£5,400) bail bond and was released on Wednesday night.

In an interview with the WDAY-TV local news station, one of Ruiz’s aunts said he had discussed the shooting video with her before. She said that she asked him why he wanted to try such a dangerous stunt, and that he replied: “Because we want more viewers. We want to get famous.”