The Corner

Mass Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport

A lone gunman has apparently opened fire in the baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale airport. At first the reports were of nine wounded, then one dead, then three. The toll keeps rising:

Authorities say five people were killed and eight were wounded after a lone suspect opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, international airport.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted the information following Friday afternoon’s shooting.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN that authorities “have an active crime scene investigation involving terminal 2.”

News stations showed video of medics taking care of a bleeding victim outside the airport. Helicopters hovering over the scene showed hundreds of people standing on the tarmac as an ambulance drove by and numerous law enforcement officers, including tactical units, rushed to the scene.

A suspect is reportedly in custody, but we’re still in the “mass confusion” stage of early reporting. And tweets and reports are still showing people running away:

There is no word yet of the motive or identity of the attacker. As always, take early reports with a grain of salt. In chaotic situations, first reporting is often wrong reporting. We’ll post updates as the facts develop.

Update 1: Authorities are investigating reports of more shots fired:

Update 2: Senator Bill Nelson identified the shooter as Esteban Santiago and said he was carrying a military ID. It seems unusual that a senator would ID the suspect, so I’m taking this news with a dose of skepticism, for now. There is still no word regarding motive. 

Update 3: First reports on how the shooter attacked:

Update 4: Multiple sources are now confirming that the shooter was Esteban Santiago. Here’s what we know about him so far:

Santiago was born in New Jersey, according to NBC News, and was a member of the U.S. Army National guard.

Santiago lived in Anchorage, Alaska from 2014 to 2016. 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.

The case was resolved in March when Santiago entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, an alternative to adjudication where a state prosecutor dismissed the charges in exchange for Esteban’s completion of requirements that are unknown.

Update 5: I don’t know what to make of this, but it certainly is bizarre: