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Bulletproof vest video stunt fails: One dead, one charged with murder

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Don’t try this at home. Three men gathered in a Baltimore row home basement in the early morning hours of July 16 and thought it’d be a cool idea to “film a stunt in which they planned to test a bulletproof vest,” according to The Baltimore Sun. Just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, 28-year-old Darnell Mitchell donned the bulletproof vest. Mitchell’s friend, 30-year-old Mark Ramiro, aimed his .22 caliber handgun at Mitchell while a third friend videotaped the stunt, which ended up going horribly wrong.

As Mitchell waited for the impact, he looked into the video camera and egged his friendly shooter on by saying "deuce deuce in the chest." Ramiro fired the gun. He struck Mitchell, but totally missed the bulletproof vest his friend was wearing. Ramiro’s bullet struck Mitchell above the vest.

The home video ended with Ramiro dropping his gun and both friends rushing to assist their unsuspecting victim. The two friends drove Mitchell to the nearby University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma unit. But Mitchell died within minutes of arriving at the hospital, according to police.

Baltimore City police were called and arrived at the hospital around 4 a.m. After visiting Ramiro's basement at 2208 Cedley Street in south Baltimore, police discovered the video camera used to film the shooting and got a warrant for the video still inside the camera.

Investigators said they determined Ramiro was the suspect responsible for the fatal shooting by his clothing and unique tattoos on his left hand. Police said Ramiro has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and handgun violations and is being held at the Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Facility. ~ WBAL-TV

Police have not yet identified the third man captured on the video. Police are also not stating whether or not they think the shooting death was purely accidental or deliberately planned and pre-mediated. The charges against Ramiro could come down to a definition of murder and whether or not Ramiro actually intended to kill Mitchell. A murder charge in the first-degree indicates intent.

Originally charged solely with the handgun violations and a count of second-degree, the Baltimore court commissioner later added the first-degree murder charge. Sgt. Jarron Jackson with the Baltimore Police Department said "What I can tell you is this is an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided."

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