Culture

Multiple People Have Been Shot At The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport In Florida

(Note: We are updating this story below as new developments unfold.)

Early Friday afternoon, a gunman entered the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport In Florida and shot several people. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer first reported the incident on Twitter while adding word from law enforcement that five people were struck. NBC News and CNN upped that number to nine people injured with “multiple” fatalities.

The Associated Press also reported that more than one death occurred, and CNN later confirmed that five people were killed in the gunfire.


Multiple areas of the airport were immediately evacuated as police worked to secure the scene. Authorities have reportedly already taken one shooter into custody, but CNN relayed that there appeared to be an “ongoing incident” in a baggage claim area in one of four terminals. This could refer to a scene depicted in an WSVN 7 video (which is somewhat graphic) that shows injured people lying on the ground.

UPDATE #1 – 3:05pm: The Broward Sheriff confirmed on Twitter that one suspect is in custody. Fox News identifies him (by military ID) as Esteban Santiago. At a local press conference, Sheriff Scott Israel stated that law enforcement believe he was acting alone despite fleeting reports that a second shooter may have been involved.

UPDATE #2 – 3:25pm: CNN reports that, as of now, 13 people have been transported to hospitals. Authorities also say that Santiago flew to Florida from Alaska. He reportedly packed firearms in his checked luggage, picked up his bag, and went into the bathroom to load his gun before coming out to shoot. In this clip, a witness says the scene was “like a war zone.”


UPDATE #3 – 6:00pm: The Telegraph reports much more information on Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran and new father. He was born in New Jersey and lived in Alaska. He’s believed to have mental health issues and was taken into custody unharmed.

UPDATE #4 – 7:38pm: According to NBC News, Santiago walked into the FBI office in Anchorage and claimed the CIA was forcing him to join ISIS. Local police responded to the incident, and Santiago voluntarily entered a mental health facility for treatment.

UPDATE #5 – 8:30pm: When Santiago boarded his Delta flight from Alaska to Florida early Friday, he carried no other luggage with him other than the hard case containing his weapon. That’s per the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport police chief, who confirmed the update with BuzzFeed News.


The Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is heavily trafficked and ferried 2.5 million travelers to their destinations in November 2016.

Initial Twitter reactions from inside the airport scene relayed the chaos as the story unfolded.

(Via CNN & NBC News)

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