On Friday, a mentally disturbed gunman opened fire inside Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. This resulted in 5 people being killed and 8 people being injured. Authorities say the suspected gunman has been apprehended and taken into custody unharmed.
According to the federal law enforcement officials who are investigating the case, the gunman thought he heard voices which told him to shoot people at the airport. This gunman has been identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago. He was reportedly an airline passenger who arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport after coming from Alaska. He also declared a firearm that he had in his bag when he checked himself through, which was totally legal for him to do. But when he got to the baggage claim area and retrieved his bag, that’s when he took out the weapon and started opening fire at people in the airport. This caused panic to quickly fill the environment, with hundreds of people running and screaming for their lives.
Reports show that Santiago had previously visited an FBI office which was located in Anchorage, Alaska. The visit occurred back in November, and he apparently told officials that his mind was being controlled and that he was hearing voices that were trying to get him to do things. The officials just told him to seek mental health treatment right away, and then they let him go.
Federal authorities are still unsure if Santiago had been directed by a terrorist group, like ISIS, to commit this shooting. But they did say that he had visited extremist websites on the internet, so he may have been influenced or self-radicalized online. Right now, this is unclear and his motive is still unknown.
Santiago previously joined the Alaska Army National Guard, but was discharged for “unsatisfactory performance.” Before that, he was in the Puerto Rico National Guard and had a deployment to Iraq. He received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for his work there.