Accused Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooter Enters Not Guilty Plea

Broward County Sheriff’s Office(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Esteban Santiago, the Iraq war veteran accused of killing five people and injuring six others at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, entered a not guilty plea to all 22 charges against him at a federal court appearance Monday morning.

The most serious charge against Santiago, 26, is performing an act of violence at an airport that caused death.

The Jan. 6 shooting took place at a baggage claim at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport and targeted "newly-arrived passengers retrieving their luggage," according to federal prosecutors.

Santiago purchased a one-way ticket from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale two days before his Jan. 5 flight, and his only checked baggage was a gun, FBI agent Michael Ferlazzo said in court earlier this month.

According to court documents, Santiago picked up his bag from the Fort Lauderdale baggage claim and then loaded the gun inside a bathroom.

Santiago was seen on video apparently pulling the gun out of his waistband. According to the charges against him, he then allegedly opened fire at numerous people, aiming at their heads and bodies until he was out of ammunition.

The five people killed in the attack were in Fort Lauderdale for cruise vacations.

Federal prosecutors said Monday they would need 20 days for a trial.

If convicted of the most serious charge -- violence at an international airport causing death -- Santiago faces the possibility of the death penalty.

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