Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A gunman entered a baggage claim area and randomly opened fire Friday, shooting at least 11 people and killing at least five, authorities said.

Six people are being treated at local hospitals.

The suspected gunman has been identified by NBC News as Esteban Santiago, 26.

Santiago was taken into custody without incident and is being interviewed, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference. On January 7, Federal authorities charged Santiago, 26, with an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, which could bring him the death sentence, and weapons charges. According to the federal complaint, he confessed that he planned the mass shooting and bought a one-way airport ticket.

Police said they have not yet determined a motive for the shooting and are still considering whether it might have been related to terrorism.

There were reports of a second active shooter, but Sheriff Israel said there is no confirmed second shooting or other injuries beyond the initial incident.

Santiago, who was born in New Jersey, is a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, authorities say.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Shooter Entered a Baggage Claim & Opened Fire, Reports Say

One account on Twitter said that the shooting had occurred in Terminal 2 of the Florida airport. NBC Miami reported that the shooter walked into the baggage claim area and opened fire.

The shooting was first reported at 12:55 p.m.

“Witnesses say FLL Airport gunman ran out of ammo, then laid on ground ‘spread eagle’ and waiting for law enforcement,” reported a CBS12 reporter.

NBC Miami reports an eyewitness at the baggage claim saw a man with a gun shooting people randomly and saw someone fall next to him. “The two people to my right and the two people to my left were shot. There was blood everywhere. The two people who were shot were shot in the head,” reported NBC Miami, of the eyewitness account.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

At least five people were killed and six were wounded in a shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida, police say. The gunman is in custody.

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2. The Accused Gunman Had Told the FBI He Heard Voices Telling Him to Fight For ISIS

The gunman allegedly went into an FBI office in Alaska in November to report that he heard voices telling him to fight for ISIS.

The FBI special agent in charge of the Miami office said in a news conference that Santiago, who was acting erratically, was referred to police for mental health treatment, which he then underwent.

Santiago’s gun was confiscated for a time but then returned, NBC News reported.

3. The Airport Was Evacuated, With Hundreds of Travelers Forced Out Onto Tarmacs

Multiple videos flooded Twitter from the scene, showing people milling around and being evacuated.

The victims’ identities have not yet been released. According to Time Magazine, there was only a single lone shooter in the attack.

Extra precautions were being taken at other airports as a security precaution.

4. The Suspect Flew From Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale With a Gun in His Checked Baggage

The suspect flew to the airport on a flight from Anchorage, Alaska, through Minneapolis, Minnesota, and to Fort Lauderdale, and had the gun used in the shooting checked in his luggage, sources told NBC News.

Sources earlier said the gunman flew through Canada.

NBC News reports the gunman retrieved his weapon from the checked bag in the luggage claim, and later opened fire.

5. The Shooter Recently Signed up for the Army Reserves & Was Living in Alaska

Sources told NBC News the gunman was carrying a military ID.

According to NBC reporter Pete Williams, the suspect enlisted in the Army Reserves in August 2016 and had been living in Alaska. He was deployed to Iraq and saw combat, and family members told the news media he wasn’t the same when he returned.

He was honorably discharged four months ago, and Williams reports he had mental health issues.

Santiago’s family is from Puerto Rico, and he was born in New Jersey, according to public records. He has also lived in Florida, before moving to Alaska in 2015.

Read more about this shooting in Spanish at

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  1. Time to declare Islam a political movement like Communism Muslims register and deport Muslims that refuse.

  2. Our dear leader is praying to allah that the shooter is a white, protestant from the South wearing a MAGA cap and matching tee shirt.

    I suspect the shooter’s name is mohammed

    Listen – We can no longer afford to “split the pot” with everyone who wants a piece, especially with “refugees” from the Middle East. It’s too risky. America is struggling enough as it is. Most of us are making below living wage and just had our health insurance forcefully taken away. My healthcare is up to $520 per month; compare this to my $25 per month car insurance (from Insurance Panda) or my 10/month renters insurance. Both private enterprise (take note, Obama). Do we really want our tax dollars aiding these terrorists?

    Another question I have is where is the backlash from other Muslims, and why aren’t they rising up and policing their own?

  3. I have said this before. Mentally ill patients should be held in institutions; not unleashed among the public.
    I lived with a bi-polar lady for 8 years; 6 of those with no incident, until she stopped taking her meds. They are dangerous without their meds.
    If they are allowed to live outside institutions, they need ankle bracelets.
    When will we learn? Yes, I have compassion for these people, but not to the point that we allow them to mingle among the public, with no monitoring.