CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — A Charlotte-based pilot was shot and killed in Puerto Rico, a family member said Monday.
Family members say 48-year-old Matthew Stapula, a pilot for American Airlines, was killed in a shooting during one of his layovers. The family has a lot of questions, but right now they are in shock and grieving the loss of someone they loved dearly.
Stapula’s father, Eric Stapula, said Matthew died near some sort of bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“You’re in shock at first, and of course you feel overwhelmed. You don’t know what to do,” Eric Stapula said in a phone interview with WBTV Monday night.
Eric Stapula says his son had a passion for the aviation industry and loved to fly, even getting a chance to occasionally work with his daughter who had worked as a flight attendant. The elder Stapula noted that his son was a family man.
“I’m losing a very close friend and obviously my firstborn son,” Eric Stapula said.
The grieving father said he learned about his son’s death Monday morning, but wasn’t given a lot of information.