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Multiple People Shot, Killed at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida

Multiple People Shot, Killed at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida

Postby smix » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:12 am

Multiple People Shot, Killed at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida
Voice of America

URL: http://www.voanews.com/a/shots-fired-at ... 66070.html
Category: Terrorism
Published: January 6, 2017

Description: Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for prayer for the victims of a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport Friday that left five people dead and eight others injured. Scott spoke to reporters Friday evening, several hours after the shooting took place. He said his "heart goes out to every family impacted" by the shooting. He also said he had called U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence about the shooting and had been assured that they would "do everything in their power" to provide whatever assistance was needed. Scott said he had not reached out to current U.S. President Barack Obama about the shooting. He said he contacted Trump and Pence because he had a personal relationship with them. Scott also said his staff had been in touch with airports around the state since the shooting to find out what resources they needed. "My imperative is to keep everybody safe," he said. "Everybody's working hard to find out exactly what happened, and I don't want this to ever happen again." An hour after the shooting, claims that shots had been heard in other areas of the airport were reported, but officials said later at a news conference that those reports were unfounded. The eight people injured at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were transferred to a local hospital, the Broward County sheriff's office said on its official Twitter account. It also indicated that the attack had been carried out by a lone suspect who was in custody. Florida Senator Bill Nelson told reporters a military ID with the name Esteban Santiago was found on the suspect, though it was not confirmed that the card belonged to him. The attacker had been a passenger on an incoming flight and had packed the firearm in his checked luggage, officials told reporters at the airport in the hours after the attack. He was first reported to be a passenger on a Canadian flight, but a spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy said later that there was no Canadian connection. She cited U.S. officials who said the suspect had flown in from Anchorage, Alaska, via Minneapolis, Minnesota. Witnesses told ABC News that the assailant repeatedly yelled, "I'm not Jewish." Other reports indicated he was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt and lay spread-eagle on the floor after he shot 13 people, awaiting arrest. The sheriff's office said the suspect was taken into custody unharmed. They did not disclose a motive, saying they were "uncertain" as to whether the attack was an act of terror. News helicopters hovering over the area showed hundreds of people waiting on the tarmac as ambulances took victims to the hospital and law enforcement personnel raced to the scene. Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeted that he was at the airport when shots were fired, but that the scene had since calmed.



Florida Airport Shooting Suspect Charged With Federal Crime
Voice of America

URL: http://www.voanews.com/a/florida-airpor ... 66885.html
Category: Terrorism
Published: January 7, 2017

Description: The suspect in the deadly shooting at a Florida airport was charged Saturday with an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, according to a statement by the Miami U.S. attorney's office. Esteban Santiago, 26, an Iraq War veteran, is accused of killing five people and wounding six others in a shooting rampage Friday at the Fort Lauderdale airport that caused chaos as thousands of people ran from the attack. If convicted of the charge, Santiago could face the death penalty or up to life in prison. Santiago also was charged with two firearms offenses, officials said. He was being held without bail and was scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday in Florida.
Traveled to Florida
Earlier Saturday, officials said at a news conference that the suspect had traveled "specifically" to Fort Lauderdale to carry out the attack, but his reason remained unclear. Police interrogated Santiago for several hours, ending early Saturday. Authorities said he was cooperating with investigators. George Piro, the Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge of the Miami division, told reporters Saturday, "We have not identified any triggers that would have caused this attack." Police "continue to look at the terrorism angle" as a possible motive, but it’s “too early in the investigation” to divulge any information about a motive for the shooting, he added. The airport, shut down after Friday's attack, was slowly reopening Saturday, with reports of security delays and long lines.
Mental health evaluation
In Alaska, the FBI and the Anchorage police chief said Saturday that Santiago had walked into a local FBI office in November. They said he was in an agitated state, making incoherent statements and saying he was hearing voices that told him to join the terror group Islamic State. Santiago was carrying a loaded magazine at the time but told officials he had left his gun in his vehicle. As is practice, the FBI agents took his weapon. Santiago was taken for a mental health evaluation and investigated, but authorities found no wrongdoing. They returned his gun to him in December. Anchorage Police Chief Christopher Tolley said it was not immediately clear whether it was the same gun used in Friday's shooting in Fort Lauderdale. Piro cited mental illness as a possible factor leading up to the attack. Relatives suggested Santiago had struggled with mental illness. Santiago's uncle, Hernan Rivera, told Newark’s Star-Ledger newspaper: "Only thing I could tell you was when he came out of Iraq, he wasn’t feeling too good." His aunt told the newspaper he was hospitalized after returning from Iraq. “It was like he lost his mind,” Ruiz Rivera said in Spanish. Bryan Santiago, the suspect's brother, said his brother had trouble controlling his anger after returning from service in Iraq. He also said the FBI in Anchorage "failed" his brother in returning his gun to him. Authorities in Alaska, however, defended their interactions with Esteban Santiago, saying he'd broken no laws when he walked into the Anchorage FBI office "making disjointed comments about mind control."

esteban-ruiz-santiago.jpg

'Senseless act'
At a news conference Saturday morning, Governor Rick Scott said law enforcement officials were still sorting through evidence to try to understand what had happened. He said he had spoken with several of the shooting victims still in the hospital. “It’s just such a senseless act. One couple I talked to, they just came down here to go on a cruise and the wife was shot,” Scott said. “Now they’re not even going to go on their cruise. They’re going to take their time and go home.” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said three of the victims were “in good condition,” while three others were in intensive care. On Friday, Santiago flew from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale. He traveled alone and had checked a single bag, which contained a 9 mm handgun, officials said. Upon landing in Florida, officials said, Santiago retrieved his checked bag, went to a bathroom and loaded the gun, then began firing. The Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for security at U.S. airports, allows passengers to travel with unloaded firearms as checked baggage only. Weapons must be transported in a locked, hard-sided container. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips must also be checked and "securely boxed," TSA regulations require. Santiago is reported to be a former National Guard member serving in Puerto Rico. He spent 10 months in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. He later joined the Army National Guard in Alaska, the largest and most remote U.S. state. He is believed to have served in the Guard there from 2014 until August last year, when he was discharged for unsatisfactory performance. Law enforcement officials also said Santiago spent some time working for a security company in Anchorage.
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