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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The cousin of a veteran American Airlines baggage handler is speaking out after police said the airline employee was shot and killed by his girlfriend who then took her own life.

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Luis Gonzalez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the girlfriend was a flight attendant for American Airlines in Miami.

“It’s horrible. It’s horrible,” said Gonzalez, the cousin of the victim, Nelson Aviles.

Gonzalez said Aviles had worked for the airline for 26 years and had moved to Miami two years ago from San Juan, Puerto Rico where his ex-wife lives with their five children.

“He does have five kids in Puerto Rico,” said Gonzalez. “They are beautiful kids.

“We were cousins, the victim and I,” Gonzalez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I was getting ready for work today when I was called about what happened.”

Gonzalez, who is also a flight attendant for American Airlines, spent most of the day at the crime scene speaking with his cousin’s friends and fellow employees.

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Miami Police said it happened early this morning on the first floor of an apartment building at 4325 N.W. Tamiami Canal Drive S. which is next to Miami International Airport.

One unidentified resident said, “It’s scary. It’s scary.”

Another resident of the building, Mario St-Cyr, said, “All I know is I live across the hallway and police were here early this morning for what was a murder-suicide. I never met them. I just moved here. This was a terrible tragedy.”

The apartment building is part of a complex that is a popular with American Airlines employees.

Gonzalez said his cousin lived there with his unidentified girlfriend.

“My cousin was good and happy and the life of the party,” said Gonzalez. “He’ll be missed. I loved him. He was always there for everyone in need. He was always there to help everyone.”

Gonzalez added, “Now we have another situation with guns. No matter what the reason is, if you have differences with someone you don’t have to do this.”

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Gonzalez said his cousin was devoted to his job in flight services for American Airlines where friends said he worked outside handling baggage going in and out of planes.

Peter D'Oench