Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting: 5 Dead, 8 Injured

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A few hours ago a gunman at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport opened fire, killing five and wounding eight others.  He appears to have been acting alone and is now in custody.

The incident happened at a baggage claim area where he opened fire randomly at other passengers.

Witnesses at the scene said he emptied several magazines before he dropped to his knees to await arrest according to Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County.

One witness Mark Lea told MSNBC, “People started kind of screaming and trying to get out of any door they could or hide under the chairs. He just kind of continued coming in, just randomly shooting at people, no rhyme or reason to it.”

Chip LaMacra, a Broward County commissioner, tweeted that the gunman came in on a Canadian flight and the gun was in his bag.  “He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it. Came out shooting people in baggage claim.”

Authorities have yet to determine if it is a terrorist act.

Sen. Bill Nelson, said the gunman was carrying military I.D.  The name on the I.D was Esteban Santiago, 26, and from New Jersey.

The shootings began at 1pm EST, and brought air traffic control to a stop.

The shooter has been described as 5’7, wearing a blue t-shirt, and did not speak during the incident.  He strolled among passengers shooting them.

Shootings at airports tend to be rare due to the tight security.

Earlier, law enforcement expert, Jim Cavanaugh said when speaking to MSNBC, “You’re trying to understand, is this a one-off guy? Regardless of motive, is he alone, or is there something else.  We hate to think that way, but that’s the requirement for police commanders — to think that way.”

In November last year a disgruntled ex-employee of an airline company opened fire in an airport.