On Friday, January 6th the news was covered in footage of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. A man identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago opened fire in Terminal 2 after departing a Delta flight.
Santiago picked up his bags from the carousel then went into the men’s restroom to retrieve his gun from his checked bag and changed into a Star Wars t-shirt. He then came out of the restroom and started shooting people in the carousel area.
Sheriff Scott Israel said at a Friday press conference that five people were killed and eight people were injured in the shooting, which occurred just before 1 p.m. local time (Yahoo, 2017).
The suspect has been taken into custody and allegedly had a military ID on him. According to the law enforcement official, he was discharged from the Army last year on a general discharge, with a final rank of E-4. (E-4 is Corporal or Specialist.)
Stephanie Auclair, a witness of the pandemonium tells PEOPLE: “I saw this wave of people just running towards me,” recalls Auclair, who was at the airport with her parents after a week’s vacation in Florida, waiting for a flight back to Montréal.
Next came shouts of “Shooter! Shooter!,”
“It was really, really scary,” Auclair says. “When you see a bunch of people running towards you, screaming, ‘Shooter! Shooter!,’ and then you start hearing the shots … it stops your heart.” The sounds of the shots sent Auclair and her parents running for the restaurant’s kitchen. “I was shaking. I was too in shock to cry. We had no idea where it was coming from,” she explains. “I wanted to get out of there. I knew the menace was close by.”
The emergency situation caused the airport to temporary close. “Agencies on the scene include Fort Lauderdale Police, Hollywood Police, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the TSA, the ATF, and the FBI. The Florida Highway Patrol is directing traffic” (Yahoo, 2017).
Gratefully he ran out of ammunition then surrendered or else the death toll may have been higher. The shooter was taken into custody without harm and is being questioned by the FBI and Broward County sheriff’s deputies.