Fort Lauderdale Airport shooter identified by military ID, had gun in checked luggage

(1630 EST) Update: Police communicated over the radio they are looking for a possible second shooter hiding in the crowd of civilians. He is reportedly wearing a gray shirt.

US Senator Bill Nelson identified the Fort Lauderdale shooter as Esteban Santiago during a press briefing by saying that military identification, believed to be his, had been found on him following his arrest by armed officers.

Santiago, 26, from the state of New Jersey, was in the Fort Lauderdale airport’s Terminal 2 baggage reclaim area, pulled a gun from his bag,  and opened fire.

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca posted on Facebook that the shooter was a passenger on Canadian flight and had a weapon checked in his bag.

Left: Esteban Santiago being taken into custody.

“He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it,” LaMarca wrote. “Came out shooting people in baggage claim. There were 13 total shot, 5 dead, 8 transported to hospital.”

Police said he had a concealed carry permit for a handgun and a Florida driver’s licence.

There is no criminal record for anyone of that name in Miami, Broward, or Palm Beach counties. Other sources said he was born March 16, 1990 and born in New Jersey — now living in the Naples area.

The sheriff said the gunman was arrested “almost immediately” by a Broward Sheriff’s deputy, and that the motive is unknown. Asked about whether the shooting is a terrorist incident, he said, “It’s too early to say either way on that.”

Services at the airport were immediately suspended. Some planes have landed and still have passengers on board, an airport official said.  According to police radio communication, Airport buses are being used to evacuate passengers.

Broward County Special Response Teams (SRT) are clearing the airport terminals and garages.

Authorities received a call about the shooting just before 1 p.m. and responded immediately. The eight wounded victims are being treated at Broward Health Medical Center.  Initial reports indicated that there may have been a second shooter but those reports have since been confirmed as false.

Officials said the airport will not reopen until it is confirmed safe.


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