Friday, January 6, 2017
Airport SHOOTER Is Former Member of the MILITARY
The Fort Lauderdale gunman is a New Jersey native and former member of the military who had a concealed carry permit and served at least one tour overseas, according to reports.
Esteban Santiago, 26, had been a passenger on a Canadian flight and had just deboarded his plane — with the murder weapon in his checked luggage — when the midday massacre unfolded, according to Broward County Commissioner Chip Lamarca.
“He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it,” Lamarca wrote on Facebook.
“Came out shooting people in baggage claim,” he said. “There were 13 total shot, 5 dead, 8 transported to hospital.”
Officials later confirmed the numbers at a press conference on Friday afternoon, saying it was unclear what the motive of the shooting was.
Law enforcement sources told Fox News correspondent Rick Leventhal that Santiago is a U.S. citizen who was born in the Garden State and later moved to Florida.
He also lived in Alaska at one point, though it’s unclear when.
Santiago had been flying from there — via Air Canada, according to CNN.
He was carrying a military ID card and a Florida driver’s license when he was taken into custody Friday, following the 1 p.m. shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, sources said.
A source told Leventhal that Santiago had served at least one overseas deployment during his time in the military.
NBC Miami reported that Santiago had lived in Naples, FL., at some point.
A witness told the outlet that he had been standing in baggage claim when Santiago walked in and started randomly blasting — striking several people in the head.
“It was a harrowing, frightening scene,” said one NBC News reporter, who was at the airport.