Shooting at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport
8 were injured and 5 confirmed dead after a shooting at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in Florida on Friday. The shooting occurred shortly before 1 PM eastern time. Multiple sources and the Broward County Police are reporting that the suspect was not shot and is now in custody. After more than twelve hours. Ft. Lauderdale Airport reopened.
Airlines Offering Waivers: Most major airlines that serve Fort Lauderdale Airport are now offering free of charge, change and cancellations for passengers affected by the closure of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. It’s advised that you contact your airline directly to see if you are eligible for these waivers. Airlines that have confirmed waivers include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Virgin America.
The shooting occurred shortly before 1 PM eastern time. The Broward County Police Department reported that there was a lone shooter who was in the baggage claim area of Ft. Lauderdale’s Terminal 2 and shot passengers waiting for their bags. The shooter injured eight passengers and killed five passengers.
Immediately following the shooting, passengers were lead out of Terminal 2 and onto the tarmac. Flights continued to operate in and out of Terminal 1 for a short time.
Roughly forty-five minutes after the shooting, the entire airport was closed and Terminal 1 was also evacuated. It was also at this time that a second shooter was reported. That report was false. Police and local authorities removed the suspect from the airport and searched the premise.
As of 5:30 PM, the scene is still active, however, the lone shooter who opened fire in Terminal 2 baggage claim is no longer a threat.
For nearly an hour after the shooting, passengers were seen fleeing both terminals. Some passengers hid behind vehicles and structures while others fled to the tarmac. Additionally, CNN broadcasted video of passengers being led outside of the airport area. The falsely reported second shooter led to passengers running in all directions across the tarmac and runways causing chaos once again. As of 5:30 PM, the situation is under control according to the Broward County Police.
Reports: Shooter Arrived on Delta Flight
The suspect has been identified as Esteban Santiago. Santiago is reported to have flown from Anchorage via Minneapolis on Delta Air Lines today. Santiago legally checked a weapon in his checked luggage.
Upon arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, the suspect proceeded to baggage claim in Terminal 2, the terminal in which Delta operates, picked up checked bags, went to a restroom, and removed a firearm. The suspect then returned to the baggage claim area and opened fire on other passengers.
The suspect arrived from Minneapolis on Delta Air Lines flight DL2182. The flight arrived at 12:03 PM eastern time.
Today at Ft. Lauderdale Airport
After more than twelve hours of the FAA ordering the airport to be closed, Ft. Lauderdale International Airport reopened. Some flights were impacted even on Saturday, however, the airport operated a fairly regular schedule. Police and investigators were on the scene at the airport, however, the airport was attempting to operate as usual.
The suspect’s identity was confirmed and he was reported to have suffered from mental illness in the past. A few of the victims were identified on Saturday, however, the investigation was still in its early stages. The airport will continue to work towards regular operations on Sunday.
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Last updated at 11:00 PM on Jan 7th.