News & Politics

Fort Lauderdale Shooter Flew From Alaska With Gun Checked in Luggage

More information is coming in about the gunman who opened fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday, killing five and injuring eight. Esteban Santiago, 26, was taken into custody uninjured after his violent rampage.

Well before the authorities weigh in with a possible motive, a familiar and fairly predictable scenario is emerging on Twitter:

 

Santiago was born in New Jersey, the Daily Beast reports, and was carrying military ID. According to NBC News, he was member of the U.S. Army National Guard. Multiple outlets have reported that Santiago arrived on a Canadian airline, but Air Canada denies having the passenger:

It is now being widely reported that the shooter flew from Alaska to Minnesota and transferred to the Florida flight:

Santiago checked a handgun in his luggage and retrieved it at the Terminal 2 baggage claim, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca wrote on Facebook. He added that he loaded the gun in a bathroom and then came out and opened fire on travelers.

From 2014 to 2016, Santiago had been living in Anchorage, Alaska, where he had a criminal record, the Daily Beast found:

Alaska court records show a criminal record there for minor traffic infractions including operating a vehicle without insurance and a broken taillight. Records also show his landlord evicted him for non-payment of rent in February 2015.

In January 2016, Santiago was charged with two misdemeanor crimes: one count of fourth-degree assault and another for damage of property over $50. According to a spokesperson from the Anchorage Police department the incident was related to domestic violence.

An eyewitness described to Fox News’ Shepard Smith how the gunman, apparently wearing a Star Wars T-shirt, executed the people around him:

John Schlicher recounted seeing the shooter open fire on bystanders at the airport baggage claim area and then reload his gun twice.

“People on either side of me were going down, so I dropped to the ground, my mother-in-law and my wife did,” he said. “The firing just went on and on.”

The Broward County sheriff provided an update on the airport shooting investigation, Friday afternoon:

Update 6:12 p.m. EST: Known wolf.

Note: A tweet that was later determined to be unconfirmed was removed from this article.