Ruiz has a three-year-old daughter with Perez, who is seven months pregnant with their second child. Ruiz's aunt says he gave a 50 caliber handgun to his girlfriend and insisted she shoot it at a book Pedro was holding, thinking it would stop the bullet.
The incident took place Monday, around 6:30 p.m. EDT at the couple's home in Halstad, Minnesota, following which Perez called 911 and reported they were making a YouTube stunt video when she accidentally shot Ruiz in the chest.
"They were in love, they loved each other", she said. Perhaps the most unsafe installment on the channel before the tragic stunt-gone-wrong shows Pedro eating what he described as "the world's hottest pepper". "It shouldn't have happened at all".
Today, his family is remembering him with candles, hoping to connect with his spirit as they pray over the spot where the shooting happened.
The couple were together for five years.
The day of the shooting, Perez posted the couple's last video on Facebook and announced plans to expand their YouTube channel into two separate channels. She has been released on bail, and as a condition of her release she can not possess firearms, needs to notify her attorney of her whereabouts and has to wear a Global Positioning System monitor, according to court documents. "Why?' 'Because, we want more viewers, '" Ruiz's aunt remembers.
"They were in love", Claudia told KVLY.
Perez, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter, is also now pregnant with a boy due in September.
Perez faces second degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm charges - which carries a maximum of ten years in jail.
"I wish they wouldn't have done it".
A gamble for YouTube fame resulted in tragedy for a young couple from Minnesota.
"He told me he had an idea". I said, don't do it, don't do it. "We want to get famous".
Claudia pleaded with Pedro not to use a real gun, insisting to him that it could cause serious harm.