Five people were shot and killed while eight were left wounded in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida airport baggage claim. The suspect Esteban Santiago brought the firearm in his checked luggage according to law enforcement. They are unaware of the reason why the suspect opened fire on the airport, but he has been apprehended and taken into custody.
The suspect flew into Florida on Friday from Alaska and declared his firearm. He was seen at the baggage claim area in Terminal 2 and retrieved his luggage. He then went to the bathroom where he took the gun out of his luggage and started firing once he exited the bathroom.
The airport was evacuated with large groups of people standing outside on the tarmac. It was an hour after the actual the shooting and people were left unaware of what was happening.
“Everyone sprinted outside again. We are back out on the tarmac,” Judah Fernandez said, adding that it was unclear why people had rushed outside.
Most of the flights that were scheduled to go through the airport were delayed. The FAA released a statement that the airport had not continued operations by 6:00 pm ETA.
Esteban was in the National Guard in Puerto Rico in 2007 until he joined the army reserves in April 2010 in Iraq, where he joined the National Guard there in 2014. He was then discharged in August for his poor performance. Florida Senator Bill Nelson said that Esteban had a military identification card, but was unaware whether or not it was current.
He appeared at the FBI office in Anchorage several months ago claiming that he was hearing voices, some telling him to join ISIS according to law enforcement. It is unknown whether he worked alone or if it was an act of terrorism.
“The citizens of Florida will not tolerate senseless acts of evil. Whoever is responsible will held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Gov. Rick Scott told reporters at the airport.