"Even looking back on it, nothing about him seemed off," Konstantin Keidel tells PEOPLE

By Caitlin Keating
March 26, 2015 06:30 PM
Jan-Arwed Richter/picture-alliance/AP

An acquaintance of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the Germanwings airplane that crashed in the French Alps Tuesday, killing 150 people, says Lubitz “seemed like such a normal guy.”

Lubitz, 28, a German citizen, allegedly set out to deliberately destroy the plane when it began its bizarre 10-minute descent, French prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters.

But Konstantin Keidel, 20, an acquaintance of Lubitz’s from his hometown of Montabaur, Germany, tells PEOPLE the community is shocked and struggling to make sense of the emerging portrait of Lubitz that is at odds with the young man they knew.

“Everyone here is very shocked,” Keidel tells PEOPLE.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated that one pilot left the cockpit and was unable to get back in before the plane’s descent.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” an investigator told the Times. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.”

Keidel, whose sister was close with Lubitz, says Lubitz was a friendly guy who enjoyed sports and was always willing to help out others.

“We played volleyball together, and he would give me insight into his pilot internship because I also want to be a pilot,” he says. “He’s being portrayed as evil, but the Andreas we knew wasn’t.”

Keidel says the entire town is “crazy” right now. “His family are nice and kind people. The road to their house is closed off now because they don’t know what to expect,” Keidel says.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he adds. “It’s so awful.”