Five people are dead and six others wounded following a shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
Local police say it happened after a single shooter retrieved a handgun from his checked baggage, loaded it in the baggage claim bathroom, then opened fire on the crowd.
The suspect apparently chose to travel to Fort Lauderdale to carry out the rampage, and there are no signs there was any altercation on the flight or at baggage claim prior to the attack, authorities said on Saturday.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said some of the victims were still in surgery fighting for their lives after Friday’s rampage in the crowded baggage claim area. The gunman, who had a history of behaving erratically, was taken into custody by police.
“People trying to live their lives and enjoy the weekend were senselessly murdered. It was an absolutely horrific day,” Scott told a news conference at the airport Saturday morning.
Asked about official statements that the suspect, Esteban Santiago, had acted oddly in the past and had undergone mental health evaluations, the governor said law enforcement were working hard to figure out what drove him to open fire.
The Boward Sheriff’s Office had said earlier that the gunman was a passenger on an Air Canada flight, but the Canadian embassy in Washington says there’s no Canadian connection to the shooting and that the suspect did not fly to Florida from Canada.
Air Canada confirmed they did not have him on their records.
“We can confirm that we have no record of such a passenger by that name, or checked guns, on any of our flights to Fort Lauderdale.”
Commissioner Chip LaMarca says the shooter had the gun in his checked bag, picked up his luggage from baggage and then loaded it in the bathroom.
Confirmed: Shooting at Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood International Airport with multiple people dead. One subject in custody.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) January 6, 2017
Police say the suspect was wearing a military ID with the name of Esteban Santiago.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the received a call around 12:55 p.m. ET about shots fired at 100 Terminal Drive.
Terminal 2, where the shooting took place serves Delta Airlines and Air Canada.
— Ft. Laude-Hlwd Int'l (@FLLFlyer) January 6, 2017
People looking for information should contact airlines directly.
With files from Global News