A veteran of the Iraq war has shot five people at Fort Lauderdale airport. Esteban Santiago, 26, opened fire yesterday afternoon in the baggage claim section of Terminal 2. Around eight more people were wounded in the attack.
Santiago is currently in custody following the attack.
One witness, John Schlicher, told Fox News, he was collecting his bag when he “heard the first shot. As I did, the person right next to me fell to the ground… It was very surreal.
“(He)was holding a handgun. He was firing into the crowd. Everyone was standing there waiting for the luggage.”
George Piro, special agent in charge of Miami’s FBI field office stated he had travelled from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He said, “We’re looking at several investigative leads not only in Alaska but other states that we have determined that he’s either travelled to or has connections there.” It appears that on one leg of the trip, Santiago engaged in an argument.
Last November, Piro, had walked into the FBI office in Anchorage exhibiting “erratic behaviour”. They contacted local police who took him to a mental health evaluation clinic.
CBS News reported that he had claimed he was being forced to fight IS and the CIA was mind controlling him. He had served in Iraq from April 2010 to February 2011. He left the army last August where he was discharged for unsatisfactory performance.
There is no evidence to support Santiago was working with anyone else and motives are still unclear.
Hours after the shooting which occurred at 1pm local time, scores of passengers were stuck outside the airport. Airport director Mark Gale said, “We’ve had dozens and dozens of busses transporting what we anticipate to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10,000 folks.”
Thoughts and condolences have been offered by the President and the President-elect.