A New Jersey man walked into the Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida and reportedly shot pedestrians at random as the harrowing incident has left at least 5 dead and 6 wounded.
Update: Active shooter at #FLL. Shelter in place. Airport closed.
— TSA (@TSA) January 6, 2017
The shooter was identified as Esteban Santiago, who is a 26-year-old man from New Jersey and was reportedly carrying a military ID card. He walked into the baggage claim area of the airport and immediately opened fire on random passengers waiting to collect their bags. There seemed to be no specific targets and the shooter’s goal was simply to inflict casualties.
Some sources reported a second shooter in the parking garage of the airport, yet CNN just interviewed a police representative who said there was only a single shooter involved.
Five people were killed and another six injured when a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 around 1pm. The gunman in that incident – who was wearing a Star Wars shirt -was taken into custody and has since been identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago of New Jersey. Santiago was carrying a military ID.
About 90 minutes later, chaos broke out again when more gunshots were heard. Police officers were seen rushing into the parking garage with their guns drawn while bystanders sought shelter behind vehicles. The TSA confirmed that there was another active shooter situation and issued an order to shelter in place.
A brief video has been released of a man being led away in handcuffs, although considering the man is quite bald I would assume that is not the 26-year-old primary shooter Esteban Santiago.
Person handcuffed at FLL amid possible second incident at airport pic.twitter.com/ck3bT1ZBlQ
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) January 6, 2017
No motive behind the attack has been released as of yet, but witnesses state that the man “did not say a word” and started shooting at random at passengers waiting in the baggage claim area.
“Everybody started running…I just ran” says witness separated from her family after Ft. Lauderdale shooting https://t.co/LN93bBnwRT
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) January 6, 2017
He was described as wearing a Star Wars shirt as well as being slender with dark hair. He also reportedly shot victims while they were already wounded on the ground, his goal appearing to be to inflict as many casualties as possible before finally running out of ammo.
While speaking to Shepard Smith live on Fox News, Schlicher said he heard crews ordering passengers to take cover. He spoke over the phone while ducked down on the floor.
“He was shooting people that were down on the ground, too,” Schlicher said.
The gunman apparently got down on the ground and waited for police to arrive after he ran out of bullets, a witness told CBS News.
The airport had tweeted that there was an “ongoing incident” at the Terminal 2 baggage claim. The terminal serves Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.
The office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott said state law enforcement have not confirmed a motive behind the shooting. Scott is traveling to the scene to be briefed by law enforcement.
Donald Trump quickly tweeted in response to the incident, stating that he has been in contact with Florida govoner Rick Scott.
Monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
More on this incident as it develops, but our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy.