Two of the five victims who died in the mass shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport Friday were identified by friends and family members.
The suspected shooter was identified as Esteban Santiago – a 26-year-old Army Reservist and former Alaska National Guardsman – whose family said he may have been struggling with mental illness.
Law enforcement officials say the shooting began just before 1 p.m. in a baggage claim area. Video posted on social media showed several victims on the floor next to baggage carousels, badly injured and bleeding.
Some bystanders were tending to the wounded, while others wandered around, seemingly bewildered.
“Casings were flying all around us,” one woman said in the footage.
Chip LaMarca, a Broward County commissioner who was briefed on the attack by the sheriff’s office, told The Associated Press that the shooter had arrived aboard a Canadian flight with a gun in a checked bag. However, the Canadian Embassy said the suspect did not arrive from Canada and was not on an Air Canada flight, but instead appeared to have flown from Anchorage, Alaska.
Santiago was arrested by a Broward County deputy after firing and reloading his handgun multiple times. Florida Senator Bill Nelson was one of the first to identify Santiago, who he said was carrying a military ID.
“We don’t know a motive at this point,” Nelson stated. “This could well be someone who is mentally deranged, or in fact it could be someone who had a much more sinister motive that we have to worry about every day, and that is terrorism. We can’t conclude that.”