State of emergency at Florida’s Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Friday afternoon
Shooter in a Star Wars shirt opened fire in baggage claim aiming for victims’ heads
Gunman, identified as Esteban Santiago, killed at least five and wounded six people
Esteban Santiago, 26, an Iraq veteran is in custody
Santiago confirmed to be experiencing mental health isues since the end of his Iraq tour
Terrorism likely ruled out as gunman appeared to have been acting alone
The shooter: Esteban Santiago
The gunman at the center of Friday’s rampage at a Florida airport is New Jersey-born Iraq veteran Esteban Santiago.
26-year-old Santiago who allegedly, suffered a mental breakdown after his tour of duty, killed five people and wounded nine others at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Santiago “lost his mind” after his overseas service, according to his aunt Maria Ruiz told NJ.com. According to Ruiz Santiago was raised in Puerto Rico, and returned to the island when he returned from the Middle East and was hospitalized for mental problems.
She said her nephew who became a father last year “seemed fine” when he spent time in Union City over the holidays. Recently he had been working a security job in Alaska. NBC reported that Santiago who flew from Anchorage, Alaska, to Florida with a stop in Minneapolis, had military ID on him when he was arrested.
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca said that the shooter picked up his weapon from checked baggage before beginning his rampage.
Feds say the shootings did not appear to be an act of terrorism, and that the gunman, appears to have acted alone. Both federal and family sources said Santiago had some mental health issues. His brother Bryan told NBC that Estaben Santiago was still receiving mental treatment in his new home and owned a handgun.
Scenes from inside the terminal baggage claim area where a gunman opened fire on Friday. People were seen cowering and ducking from the shots
As reported earlier, the lone gunman is in custody after a deadly shooting spree at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. The shooter, Esteban Santiago, killed five people and injured six more on Friday afternoon.
Santiago is a 26-year-old U.S. citizen, born in New Jersey, Fox News reported. His family originally came from Puerto Rico. The shooter reportedly, had a concealed carry permit and a Florida driver’s license.
The shooting happened around 1pm in the baggage area of Terminal 2, and it does not appear that the shooter breached the TSA-secured area of the terminal.
The airport posted on Twitter Friday afternoon that there is an “ongoing incident” in a Delta Air Lines baggage claim area that started shortly before 1 p.m.
Multiple people were dead, eight were wounded and that there was one “subject” in custody, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
One witnes told MSNBC that a slender man in a blue “Star Wars” shirt began randomly firing at travelers, and was able to reload his gun at least once during the shooting.
One the people shot by the gunman, waits for help
Would-be Passengers and visitors are seen on the tarmac in the aftermath of the shooting
Injured victim is evacuated to Broward Health Trauma Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Photos from inside the terminal, Friday. People were seen on the floor trying to comfort loved ones, others stand around seemingly trying to make sense of the chaos
A shooting has reportedly occurred at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport
Witnesses told NBC Miami that the shooter was silent and didn’t appear to be targeting anyone in particular – ‘popping off bullets at random’.
Mark Lea, a 53-year-old financian adviser from Minneapolis, says he was in baggage claim when the shooting started.
‘I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way,’ Lea said.
‘At first we thought it was firecrackers,’ he said. ‘Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.’
EMTs wheel one of the injured victims into the Broward Health Trauma Center in Fort Lauderdale, Floriday
People who were evacuated onto the tarmac were put onto buses and moved. The airport has since been shut down
Video from the airport Friday afternoon showed hundreds of passengers corralled together on the tarmac with emergency vehicles parked outside the terminal with lights flashing.
Around 1:45pm, law enforcemeent started the crowds off the tarmac, by bus and on foot.
The injured victim about to be helped to hospital by emergency personnel
Security personnel cordon off the crises zone
The FAA has announced that there would be ‘minimal’ delays, but airport officials said activity has been halted. Planes have continued to take off and land on at least one of the runways
Travelers have been advised to contact their airlines if they have a flight at the airport. Gov. Rick Scott is traveling to Ft. Lauderdale to be briefed on the situation.