Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is operational again following 6 January’s fatal shooting incident there.
The airport’s Terminal 2, however, remains closed to passengers. Meantime, suspected shooter, 26-year-old Iraq War veteran Esteban Santiago, is still being held in custody.
Santiago is suspected of killing five people and wounding eight more in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Terminal 2’s baggage claim area.
While the site’s now partly back in action, the ripples of Friday’s incident will be felt for some time yet. For one thing, thousands of suitcases, bags and other objects are currently ownerless: very many passengers having fled the scene of the shooting when it was realised what was happening. Airport employees are doing their best to get these items back to the passengers concerned but describe the process on social media as ‘complex and time-consuming.’
Florida Airport Shooting
Just how did this Florida airport shooting take place? Well, we’re now starting to get a relatively clear picture of the events leading up to it.
Officials think that Santiago flew into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International from Anchorage, Alaska, via a Minneapolis changeover. He travelled with Delta Air Lines and had checked in a single luggage item. Inside this piece of luggage was a handgun which, so long as certain restrictions are adhered to, ISN’T a banned item at US airports.
Post-arrival, Santiago retrieved his luggage from Terminal 2’s baggage claim zone. It’s then believed he visited the terminal’s toilet facilities and, whilst in there, loaded his handgun. The shooting got underway as soon as he was out and it’s understood that Santiago fired his weapon until every single bullet was gone. He was then willingly arrested, putting up no resistance.
Who Is Esteban Santiago?
Esteban Santiago is the FBI’s sole Florida airport shooting suspect at this moment. An ex-US Army troop, his operational history included a spell in Iraq, lasting ten months. It then seems that, from the US Army, Santiago transferred to the US Army Reserves and, most recently, the Alaska National Guard before being discharged in August 2016. That’s one aspect of Santiago’s background but it’s also alleged that this man has mental health issues for which he’d been receiving treatment.
Just what was Santiago’s motivation? Officials are right attempting to establish just why he did what he did, when he did, where he did and terrorism’s not yet off the motives table. In any event, it’s anticipated that charges will be brought speedily. If Santiago’s convicted, he stands to be handed the death sentence.
Fort Lauderdale Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is one of four terminals at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Featuring nine gates, it’s used by four airlines: Delta, Delta Connection, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport itself covers approximately 1,400 acres of land and its other infrastructure includes a pair of runways, running North and South. Handling 26.9 million passengers, it was 2015’s 21st-busiest United States airport.
Delta Air Lines was established in 1924. Today, it’s America’s oldest still-active airline. Equipped with 856 aircraft, it flies to more than 300 destinations.
Main Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport image shows interior of Terminal 1 and is used solely for representational purposes.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport air-to-ground image by Ziggymarley01 at English Wikipedia. Used as per Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license