January 01 2022 12:00 am

Alleged gunman identified in connection with shooting that killed 5 people at Florida airport


The Broward County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed multiple people are dead following a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The sheriff’s office says five people are confirmed dead and eight more were taken to an area hospital.

One person, identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), who is believed to be the lone shooter, is in law enforcement custody. The alleged gunman was unharmed when he was taken into custody. The FBI and sheriff’s office is currently interviewing the suspected shooter.

Santiago had a military ID on him when he was detained. His aunt, Maria Ruiz, tells the New York Daily News, Santiago served two years in Iraq. 

ABC News reports Santiago was honorably discharged from the National Guard four months ago.

According to Fox News, Santiago lived in Anchorage, Alaska, from 2014-2016.

Alaskan judicial records show Santiago had minor offenses in which the cases have since been closed. Those offenses include no proof of vehicle insurance, broken tail lights and an eviction notice. A criminal mischief/damage property case, that reportedly occurred on January 10, 2016, is still open. A bail hearing in that case is scheduled for March 28, 2017. An assault charge was dismissed on March 24, 2016.

Officials say the only confirmed shooting took place around 1:00 p.m., in the downstairs area of Terminal 2.

Senator Nelson also revealed the suspected shooter was carrying a military ID.

Boward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca has released additional updates on the situation.
“The shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight with a checked gun,” LaMarca said in a Facebook post. “He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it. Came out shooting people in baggage claim.”

However, Air Canada media relations claims there is no record of a passenger by the name of “Esteban Santiago” or checked guns on their flights to Ft. Lauderdale.

Former White House Press Secretary Air Fleischer tweeted about the incident. 

All services were currently suspended, according to the airport spokesman.

Southwest Airlines has also suspended operations at FLL for the rest of the day. Flexible rebooking is available on http://southwest.com .

Florida Governor Rick Scott is en route to the airport.

The TSA tweeted about a second active shooting incident, however the sheriff’s office states there has only been one shooting.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport is one of the 25 busiest airports in the country.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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