Witnesses to a bizarre and “surreal” scene that unfolded in Jupiter, Florida in the early hours of July Fourth say that a 65-year-old man shot dead a 32-year-old former employee in self-defense.
Jupiter Police responded to the scene of a disturbance that turned deadly early Thursday morning. WPTV reported that 65-year-old Louis Rivera shot and killed former employee 32-year-old James Dorcilien after the latter showed up with a knife at an apartment complex. Dorcilien was reportedly known to those at the apartment complex because he used to work there as a maintenance worker. Rivera was identified as a maintenance manager.
Witnesses said that Dorcilien was observed acting strangely in the minutes leading up to the fatal altercation. They said he was wearing a tuxedo; they also said there was a verbal altercation. Police reportedly responded to the scene just after midnight. Callers eventually reported that shots were fired.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Bruce Balsam, who was staying with friends at the time of the shooting, heard three gunshots and then heard a “high-pitched whining noise.” Another person who lived at the complex said they thought the overnight noise was just fireworks.
In reality, Dorcilien was shot, fled the scene and was later found dead in the apartment complex. Kevin Molidor, a resident, told WPTV that he heard a “verbal altercation” that was followed by three gunshots. He described the incident as “surreal.”
Rivera said that Dorcilien had a knife and stabbed him; Rivera’s fianceé Charleen Alioto said that he sustained a serious injury to his arm, and that he will need surgery. His condition at the time of this writing was listed as stable.
Alioto claimed that Dorcilien “ran up on [them]” as they were “outside checking our car because he was around.” Alioto also claimed her fianceé had no choice but to shoot Dorcilien in self-defense.
“It’s devastated our family. Nobody ever wants to take someone’s life, but he had to protect our family,” she said.
[Image via WPTV screengrab]