At Least 5 Dead, Multiple Injuries in Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport; Suspect in Custody

Obtained by ABC News(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Five people were killed and eight others injured in a shooting at a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport in Florida Friday before a suspected gunman was taken into custody, officials said.

The carnage occurred in the baggage claim area at Terminal 2, which was evacuated. As the gunman opened fire, people turned and ran, witnesses said.

Based on identification found on the suspected shooter, police believe he is a man named Esteban Santiago, according to law enforcement officials, though officials said they were checking to see if the ID card was legitimate.

Santiago was formerly a combat engineer with the Alaska Army National Guard and left in August, said Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead, director of public affairs for the Alaska National Guard. When he was discharged, he was ranked E3, or a Private First Class.

The alleged shooter flew from Anchorage, Alaska, to Minneapolis before landing in Fort Lauderdale, senior officials said. He boarded the Anchorage flight last night, the officials said. He checked his gun into his baggage, a source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

Santiago worked for a security company called Signal 88 in Anchorage, the source said. In November, he showed up to the FBI's field office in Anchorage, where he espoused conspiracy theories, including one claim the U.S. government was trying to force him to watch ISIS videos, the source said.

When the FBI interviewed him, Santiago appeared incoherent at times, the source said. Investigators suspected that mental health issues may be at play, and they referred Santiago to local law enforcement for a mental health evaluation, the source said.

Members of Santiago's family in New Jersey are being interviewed by the FBI, two law enforcement officials briefed on the probe told ABC News. The FBI confirmed that agents are on site in Union City, New Jersey, but would not provide details on the investigation.

Sources told ABC News that Santiago had received mental health treatment after the encounter with the FBI. A person who answered the phone for Signal 88 said the company has no comment and is "currently under the advisement of federal authorities."

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference this afternoon that at this point it appears likely the suspected gunman acted alone.

The sheriff also said that the investigation is ongoing and that the scene is considered "fluid" and "active." He added that reports of a second incident at the airport were later dismissed.

Authorities received a call around 12:55 p.m. about shots fired, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said the incident occurred in a public area, not a secure area.

Passengers were seen huddled on the tarmac with their luggage.

Photos also showed the blood-stained ground at the airport.

President Obama was briefed on the shooting, said National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.

Donald Trump tweeted about the incident, saying, "Thoughts and prayers for all."

 

 

The airport said all services are temporarily suspended.

 

 

Flights more than 50 miles away from the airport are being diverted.

Story developing...


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