Published on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pilot on stopover shot dead outside strip club

An American Airlines pilot has been shot dead after apparently being hit by a stray bullet during a shootout in Puerto Rico.

Police told the Associate Press it believes Matthew Stapula from North Carolina was smoking outside a strip club and was hit in the crossfire.

He was on a stopover at the time.

The shootout occurred between a customer of the club and four bouncers.

According to police Lt. Angel Martinez, a customer disputed a bill and went home, grabbed a gun and returned.

Customer Ruben Aleman Hernandez was shot dead in the gunfight with the bouncers, which police have said was justified homicide.

One bouncer was shot and injured in the leg. 

"He was outside smoking, in the exchange of shots he was mortally wounded and died," said police spokesman Juan Garcia.

An autopsy is being carried out to determine who shot Stapula.

"We have mobilised teams to provide care to his family, as well as fellow team members during this difficult time. Local law enforcement is investigating this incident. We are providing any investigative assistance possible," the airline said in a statement.

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