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Transcript of deadly Youtube stunt in Halstad released

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Monalisa Perez of Halstad posted this tweet on Twitter 5 p.m. Monday. Perez was charged with second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III in the chest Monday while filming a prank video to post on YouTube. Submitted photo2 / 5
A book taken from the crime scene of a deadly Norman County, Minn. shooting. The book was used in a YouTube stunt gone wrong. Photo courtesy of the Norman County States Attorney.3 / 5
Mona Lisa Perez4 / 5
Pedro Ruiz III5 / 5

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 transcripts 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 batteries gonna die on it. Come closer."

Shortly after, the transcript said a shot was fired.

"Stop," Perez said. "Babe stop."

The video was presumably made in Halstad, Minn., on June 26, 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.

Perez, 20, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree in exchange for a 180-day jail sentence on March 14.

Though Perez pulled the trigger, Norman County Attorney James Brue made it clear the idea for the "foolish stunt" came from Ruiz; that was the reason for the relatively short sentence.

Brue's office also released several videos Ruiz and Perez made leading up to the shooting but didn't release the video of the actual shooting, opting just for the transcript.

Most of the rest 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.

Tu-Uyen Tran
Tran is an enterprise reporter with the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began his newspaper career in 1999 as a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, now owned by Forum Communications. He began working for the Forum in September 2014. Tran grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.
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