A gunman opened fire inside a baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday afternoon, killing five people and injuring eight more before police arrested him, the Broward Sheriff’s Office reported. About an hour after the shooting, a second incident occurred at a different terminal of the airport, causing panic and sending dozens of passengers fleeing across the tarmac as police in armored gear responded with drawn weapons.
We now know the identity of the shooter.
From the Miami Herald:
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said on MSNBC that the shooter is named Esteban Santiago and that the man was carrying a military identification.
Police reported receiving the first call that shots were at the airport at 12:55 p.m. The shooting caused passengers to flee the baggage claim area and brought the airport to a standstill as flights were temporarily grounded and roads around the airport were closed to traffic.
As security tightened around the airport and Miami International Airport, federal officials said the FBI was sending a terrorism task to investigate the shooting in Fort Lauderdale. But there was no indication yet that the incident is related to terrorism.
Mike Leverock, an FBI spokesman, said agents were working with local authorities in response to the shooting.
The shooting appears to have taken place inside the baggage claim area in the airport’s Terminal 2, according to a tweet from the airport. The tweet did not provide further details.
A later post reported that “All services are temporarily suspended” at the airport, though the upper level of the airport remained open. And the Federal Aviation Administration reported “minimal impact to flights” at the airport.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the Miami Herald that flights are still landing at the airport, though they are temporarily being held out from reaching any gates.
Eye witnesses at the airport began to post photos and other messages on Twitter shortly after the shooting, including one image that showed a person shot and bleeding while seated in a corner outside of the terminal.
Mark Lea, who said he was a witness to the shootings, told MSNBC that the shooter was a man, wearing a Star Wars T-shirt, and that he walked into the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 and opened fire with a single handgun.
Lea said the man said nothing as we he went through three magazines before giving up and sprawling spread-eagle on the flood as a police officer took him into custody.
“He had no intention of escaping,” Lea told MSNBC.