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Esteban Santiago’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

esteban santiago family

Esteban Santiago’s family is speaking out. (Twitter/Esteban Santiago)

Esteban Santiago (sometimes referred to as Esteban Santiago-Ruiz), the man accused of killing five people and shooting at least 13 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, had a baby boy who had just been born in September and a family who tried to stay in close contact with him, but hadn’t heard from him recently. His family has said that he suffered from mental issues, but he was seeking help. However, the issues were serious, his aunt pointed out, saying that he had been hospitalized for a time. Esteban’s brother told reporters that he believed Esteban was a good, spiritual person, but he may have been suffering from PTSD from his time in Iraq.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Esteban Santiago’s Brother, Bryan Santiago, Said His Brother May Have Suffered from PTSD

Esteban’s brother, Bryan, told NBC News that his brother was just a regular person. “He is a regular person, spiritual, a good person,” he said, adding that he hadn’t talked to his brother for a few weeks. Bryan lives in Puerto Rico and spoke to NBC from there.

Bryan said that his brother was born in New Jersey, but had moved to Puerto Rico, served in the National Guard there for six years, and was in Iraq in 2010 for about a year. He couldn’t imagine his brother committing this crime, he said, and suggested that he might have been suffering from PTSD and had a flashback while in the airport. He said his brother had never been diagnosed with PTSD, but he still believed that might have played a role. He was worried about him because he hadn’t heard from Esteban for a few weeks and that wasn’t normal.

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2. Esteban Santiago’s Mom Lives in Puerto Rico and Stayed in Touch with Her Son

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 06: People wait at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport after a shooting took place near the baggage claim on January 6, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Officials are reporting that five people wear killed and eight wounded in an attack by a single gunman. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People wait at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport after a shooting took place near the baggage claim on January 6, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty)

Esteban’s mother still lives in Puerto Rico, where Esteban served in the National Guard for six years, his brother Bryan told NBC News. Esteban was born in New Jersey but his parents were both originally from Puerto Rico. Around the age of 2 or 3, his parents moved back to Puerto Rico with Esteban, NJ.com reported. He grew up in Penuelas, a coastal town in Puerto Rico.

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3. Esteban Santiago’s Father May Have Died While He Was in Iraq

esteban santiago iraq

Esteban Santiago. (Badoo/Esteban Santiago)

Esteban’s aunt, Maria Luisa Ruiz, told Telemundo-47 that while Esteban was serving in Iraq, his father died. However, NJ.com reported that his father died shortly after Esteban’s tour, after he had returned to Puerto Rico.  Esteban had trouble finding a job after he returned to Puerto Rico. He later moved to Alaska for work.

Maria’s husband, Hernan Rivera, said that Esteban wasn’t doing well after Iraq.

Only thing I could tell you was when he came out of Iraq, he wasn’t feeling too good.”

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4. His Aunt Said ‘It Looks Like He Lost His Mind’

Esteban’s aunt, Maria Luisa Ruiz, lives in New Jersey. She told NBC News that Esteban was in the hospital about two months ago.

It looks like he lost his mind. He would say that he would see things.”

She said that Esteban’s mom would often keep her updated on his struggles, including the two weeks he spent in the hospital recently. Maria hadn’t actually seen Esteban for four years, when he spent a week in Union City for Christmas.

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5. Esteban’s Girlfriend Recently Gave Birth to a Baby Boy

According to Esteban’s aunt, he recently had a baby boy with his girlfriend, she told NBC News. She said the baby was born in September in Anchorage, Alaska, and she spoke to him after his baby was born; he seemed fine and happy. However, Esteban and his girlfriend argued a lot.

Bryan told the Associated Press that Esteban’s girlfriend had recently called them, alerting them about some of the psychological problems that Esteban had been facing. He wasn’t sure of the details, since he hadn’t spoken to her directly.

Esteban Santiago: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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10 comments

  1. The first photo looks like the dirtbag is doing the Allah symbol by pointing up into the air. I’ll be waiting for that pledge to ISIS video to show up next…

    • You wouldn’t know a Allah sign if it smacked you in the face. He probably was just a normal guy until he,went to Iraq and saw combat supposedly for American freedom. Only us that lived with a Vietnam vet understand what wars do to young peoples minds, especially when they come back home and there is no help of any kind for them. He went to the FBI and told them somebody was making him fight for ISIS. A nightmare. No help. He told them he was losing it and he got no help. Young American soldier, born in America, fights for America and f**k you when u get home. Try to sell that terrorist bs if it makes you feel better but this one is ours. Our leaders did this. And don’t blame Obama, a certain group of our leaders blocked EVERYTHING he tried to do, started this war,want to kill health insurance. He went to the FBI and got ignored like a bum. Mental illness is rampant in USA but nobody wants to talk about it. This is OUR price of war

      • No this man was trained as a Isis Muslim fighter from birth !
        Just as the Muslim Brotherhood stated (we will destroy America from within). Yes it’s sad to say. Now !
        I suppose you’re going to tell me that the gun he had and the ammo just magically appeared out of nowhere ?Through all those metal detectors and security all of the magnetic sensors bull shit ! That’s not going to happen unless you had help !
        All that BS he was a normal guy and he come back all screwed up.
        I don’t think so and just think about it Obama and his administration are allowing thousands more just like him into our country .
        Why do you think Obama said it can not be stopped. But I know !
        Obama doesn’t know any better either right.
        It’s all just a big misunderstanding and the money Obama gave wasn’t Ransom either !!
        now if you believe that Obama didn’t know any better.
        I’ve got some Moon gold I want to sell to you .
        You cannot destroy America from within without having someone on the inside.

        • The gun kinda did appear from nowhere-his luggage. Legally owned, legally checked with proper paperwork at airport in Alaska. Trained from birth in Puerto Rico? And you want to sell me moon gold? Born in Nj, raised from age 3 in Puerto Rico (US) and lived in Alaska last several years. There is a mosque in Alaska? WALKED into a FBI office and let them know he was loosing it. Sorry, this one is on us

      • Mama, the dude is wearing a keffiyeh around his neck and the pointing of the index finger IS an ISIS sign alluded to in the tawhid and symbolizes monotheism. So on that score you are absolutely wrong. I was also told the building in the background is a mosque that was near to where he lived. On everything else I agree with you. Vets have gotten shit for decades in return for their service. I had an uncle who served in Europe in WWII, broke down with “battle fatigue” after fighting his way across Europe and finishing off 1944 with the Battle of the Bulge. That finally did him in at 22 years of age. He was shipped back Stateside and put into a psychiatric hospital where he stayed for several years. While after he was released he never talked of his war experiences, he did go on to marry, have kids, had a good job and lead a normal life. I never heard of or observed anything approaching PTSD. But I believe the WWII vets were better served and appreciated than vets of the current era.

      • While I totally agree that our vets are ignored or put on psychotropic meds by the handful (which is Big Pharma’s plan btw), you are naive to think that this man just “snapped”. His planning as methodical and calculated. He knew what he was doing when he went into the airport bathroom, and long before that. This IS an Islamic sign to Allah regardless of what you think. How he got to this stage is a mystery at this point but don’t be stupid about it. The FBI let this guy go for whatever reason, or perhaps he was another Sirhan Sirhan or James Holmes being used to take the focus off of the white hate crime in Chicago but this wasn’t just a case of complete mental illness.

        • Nobody said he just snapped. He has been snapping since returning from Iraq. Was treated for mental health in PR upon return. Moved to Alaska. WALKED into FBI office in Alaska in Nov and said CIA was trying to make him fight for ISIS. They claimed he said he didn’t want to hurt anyone so they turned him over to local authorities for whom he voluntarily checked himself in. Did it not occur to the FBI that this may be combat related? No VA mental health in Alaska? After 9 years in US Army, do you really think it took a lot of thought to carry out his mission? Most vets in this state of mind kill themselves at a rate of 20 a day, this one had another thought.

      • A shame. I can’t imagine seeing the things these ‘children’ see, and coming home normal. It all had to stop. He was 20 when he was in Iraq. Think about a 20 yr. old young man, in your family! There were so many signs, so many cries for help. Shame on those that turned their heads. Praying for ALL of the victims.

  2. I guess the Antichrist… err… Trump will have to build walls around New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Alaska now, since that’s where this latest”terrorist is from!