An active shooter at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International airport in Florida killed five people and shot six more, with eyewitnesses describing a shooter who strolled into baggage claim and started randomly killing people.
The gunman, 26, was identified as Esteban Santiago-Ruiz, a former Army National Guard Iraq War veteran who was born in New Jersey and had ties to Puerto Rico. NBC Miami described the airport as looking like an “armed encampment” after the shooting occurred in the early afternoon. CNN reported that the suspect had allegedly told the FBI in Alaska that voices in his head were telling him to join ISIS and that he sought mental health treatment.
In a news conference, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami office said terrorism was being investigated as a possible motive, but was not certain.
There were reports of additional shots possibly being fired in another terminal and perhaps a car rental facility as local news accounts said people were running again at the scene. But those concerns evaporated, and officials now say they believe there was only one gunman.
As has been seen in other recent mass tragedies, photos and videos have flooded into social media from the scene, providing immediate citizen and news media coverage. Warning: Some of the images are graphic and disturbing.
Reports said that the active shooter was in custody and that the shooting had occurred in Terminal 2 of the Florida airport at the baggage claim carousel, where witnesses said the shooter emerged from a bathroom and shot people randomly, some in the head. The shooter is alive and being interrogated by law enforcement, the sheriff for Broward County said at a news conference on January 6.
Here are some of the videos and photos coming into the scene:
Reports varied as to the number of people shot. Some reports said five, but other accounts said as many as nine people had been shot at the airport. Initial reports said only one person had died, but the details were still coming in, as the situation and scene were chaotic and the airport was being evacuated. When the dust settled, the Broward County Sheriff confirmed that 13 were shot in all, and five of those people had died. The identities of the victims had not been released yet.
Although he was not injured, Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, was at the airport and providing live updates on Twitter.
You can read more about the accused shooter here:
Read more about the shooting in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: