A gunman opened fire Friday just before 1 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, killing five people and wounding six others (initial reports said eight were wounded).
One suspect is in custody, according to WSVN-TV.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., identified the suspect as Esteban Santiago, 26, who was carrying a U.S. military I.D.
He was born in New Jersey and living in Alaska. He served in the Alaska National Guard, joining in 2007, but was discharged for unsatisfactory conduct in August.
Sources said Santiago took Delta flight No. 1088 from Anchorage to Minneapolis-St. Paul Thursday night. He landed Friday morning, and then took Delta flight No. 2182 from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Fort Lauderdale.
CBS Miami reported that in November 2016 Santiago walked into an FBI office in Anchorage and claimed he was being forced by the CIA to fight for ISIS. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The FBI took an interest in him after his employer in Anchorage expressed concerns about things he’d said, ABC News reported.
Broward County Sheriff’s office issued a statement saying there “may be” another attack, adding “We are investigating,” but later denied any second attack had taken place.
Nelson said Santiago emptied three magazines from his pistol and then police ordered him to sit down, which he did. Police never fired a shot.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott held a 5 p.m. press conference and said he’d been in contact with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, keeping both of them updated on the incident. He said he had not been in contact with President Obama.
An eyewitness, John Schlicher, told Fox News a lone shooter wearing a Star Wars t-shirt opened fire at 12:55 p.m. on people inside the baggage claim area in Terminal 2.
“I looked over and saw blood just pooling underneath people and I knew it was real,” Schlicher said. “It was oddly quiet as it happened.”
He said the shooter aimed for people’s heads, not saying anything as he mowed them down.
“He was shooting people who were down on the ground too,” Schlicher said.
Schlicher described the shooter as about 5-foot-10 to 6-foot, with dark hair and a slender build.
Santiago, born in New Jersey, reportedly arrived at the airport on a flight from Anchorage with a stopover in Minneapolis. He had checked his gun, picked it up at baggage claim, then went into the bathroom and loaded it. He came out and started shooting.
According to a report by the Daily Beast, Santiago lived from 2014 to 2016 in Alaska, where he’d been charged in January 2016 of fourth-degree assault in a case of domestic violence.
Schlicher said the gunman said nothing as he methodically shot people in the head.
Then, shortly before 2:30 p.m., more shots were heard around the parking garage for Terminal 1, which was then evacuated.
People were seen on video in full sprint running out of the airport terminal. At least one person was injured in the panic.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel held a news conference at 3:30 p.m. and tried to debunk the reports of a second attack. “At this point there is no second active shooter, we heard those reports as well but right now it’s unconfirmed.”
The sheriff said suspect was arrested “without incident” and was in custody “unharmed.”
The Army National Guard confirmed Santiago had been a member and that was honorably discharged four months ago.
See video taken inside baggage-claim area:
The Fort Lauderdale airport remained closed as of late afternoon. And the ripple effect was felt nationwide, as at least 22 flights were delayed across the U.S.
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted he was at the airport and that shots were fired. He said “everyone is running.”
Aerial footage from TV affiliates shows large groups of people standing outside on the tarmac.
“You’re trying to understand, is this a one-off guy? Regardless of motive, is he alone, or is there something else?” law-enforcement expert Jim Cavanaugh told MSNBC. “We hate to think that way, but that’s the requirement for police commanders — to think that way.”
The airport is the 22nd busiest in the United States and serves 21 different airlines.