Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport Shooting UPDATES

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A lone gunman has shot and killed at least five people in terminal 2 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Nine people have been injured. The gunman is in custody, according to local law enforcement officials.

The incident occurred near a baggage claim in terminal 2. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport tweeted about the incident around 12:55 PM. Many passengers fled onto the tarmac and chaos ensued as no one knew if the gunman had been caught. The FAA is not letting any flights off the ground, or anyone leave the airport, for that matter. Rick Scott, the Governor of Florida, is on his way to Ft. Lauderdale to address the situation.

A former White House worker named Ari Fleischer, tweeted that “everyone is running”.

Fleischer then tweeted:

 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport is the 21st busiest airport hub in the U.S. 21 different airlines fly in and out of the airport on a daily basis. In the month of November, a total of 2.5 million people passed through the airport alone. There are a total of four terminals at the airport and many people pass through on international flights.

K-9 units were brought in to sweep the area for any explosives. Investigators are still looking into the gunman’s motives. Gene Messina told CNN that, “I got off the plane and I saw people running and screaming,” he said. “At first I was in shock but when I saw TSA agents running, I booked.”

Our thoughts and prayers are going out to the families and victims of the shooting today. We will be updating this post periodically throughout the day.

UPDATE

There are unconfirmed reports of additional shots fired in the garage portion of the airport. People are running towards the tarmac. BBC tweeted just moments ago:

UPDATE

These reports have been confirmed as false. There was a lone gunman. His name is Esteban Santiago, taken into custody unharmed. His motives are still unclear. It has not been determined if this is an act of terror, or not. He was described as a 20-year-old wearing a Star Wars T-shirt who shot into a crowd while at baggage claim in terminal 2.

President-elect Trump said he was “monitoring the terrible situation in Florida” on Twitter.

UPDATE

Esteban Santiago, the shooter, is a U.S. military veteran. Authorities arrested him soon after the shooting took place. He is being held at Broward County Jail. Santiago was a combat engineer for the National Guard. He served in Alaska and Puerto Rico but was discharged for unsatisfactory service; including AWOLs. He was deployed to Iraq from April 2010 to February 2011. His Aunt said he was not the same when he returned: “He lost his mind,” Ruiz Rivera said. “He said he saw things.”

Santiago walked into an FBI office last November and told agents that the U.S. government was forcing him to watch Islamic State videos. He was transported to local police for a mental health evaluation and the case was closed.

When he arrived at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, he was traveling from Anchorage. He followed the proper protocol for his semi-automatic handgun through TSA and did not draw attention to himself. After landing, he got the gun from his checked bag, loaded it, and began shooting people.

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