UPDATE: Florida airport shooting suspect charged

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The Latest on the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport (all times local):

01/07/2017

6:25 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the Florida airport shooting suspect that could bring the death penalty if he is convicted.

A criminal complaint filed Saturday by the Miami U.S. attorney's office accuses 26-year-old Esteban Santiago of an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death. The punishment is execution or any prison sentence up to life.

Prosecutors also charged Santiago with two firearms offenses.

Santiago is accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others Friday at a Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport baggage claim. The FBI says Santiago traveled from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the shooting.

Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, is being held without bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.

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4:45 p.m.

Authorities say they seized a gun from the alleged Florida airport shooter when he visited an FBI office in Alaska in November and returned it the next month.

The FBI and the Anchorage police chief said Saturday that Esteban Santiago walked into the local FBI office and was agitated and making incoherent statements. He had a loaded magazine on him, but he had left his firearm in his vehicle, as well as his newborn child.

Santiago was taken for a mental health evaluation and investigated, but authorities found no wrongdoing. They returned his gun to him about a month ago. Authorities would not say if it's the same gun used in the attack Friday.

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1:50 p.m.

Florida hospital officials say one of the airport shooting victims is expected to be released.

Six gunshot victims were brought to Broward Health Medical Center after Friday's shooting in which five others died. Officials said Saturday at a news conference with Gov. Rick Scott that one is well enough for release.

Scott says three are still in intensive care. No details were released about any of the victims.

Authorities say the people were shot at random by 26-year-old Esteban Santiago in a baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago is in custody and expected to face federal charges in court Monday.

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01/06/2017 7:45 p.m.

A law enforcement official says the Florida airport gunman told the FBI in November that the government was controlling his mind and was forcing him to watch Islamic State group videos.

The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity.

The official says agents in Anchorage completed their interview with 26-year-old Esteban Santiago and called the police, who took him for a mental health evaluation.

The FBI's Anchorage field office said in a statement that it was aware Santiago was an Anchorage resident and that it was assisting in the investigation, but it declined to comment further.

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6:45 p.m.

An authority says the suspect in a deadly shooting at a Florida airport flew out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Jesse Davis is chief of police at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. He told The Associated Press that 26-year-old Esteban Santiago flew out of Anchorage, Alaska, on a 9:52 p.m. Delta flight Thursday, and that a firearm was his only piece of checked luggage. He says Santiago flew from Anchorage to Minneapolis-St. Paul and on to Fort Lauderdale.

Davis said Santiago didn't call attention to himself and "as far as we can tell" traveled alone, but he said the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities are trying to track Santiago's movements through Alaska's largest commercial airport using video footage.

Davis noted that it's not usual for travelers at the Alaska airport to check firearms because many people hunt.

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5:45 p.m.

A military spokeswoman says the suspect in a deadly shooting at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard last year for unsatisfactory performance.

Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead did not release details about 26-year-old Esteban Santiago's discharge in August 2016. Olmstead said that he joined the Guard in November 2014.

Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen said that Santiago was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla.

Olmstead also said that Santiago had served in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard.
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5:15 p.m.

The brother of the man who has been tentatively named as the suspect in a deadly shooting at a Florida airport says the suspect had been receiving psychological treatment while living in Alaska.

Bryan Santiago tells The Associated Press that his family got a call in recent months from 26-year-old Esteban Santiago's girlfriend alerting them to the situation.

Bryan Santiago said he didn't know what his brother was being treated for and that they never talked about it over the phone.

He said Esteban Santiago was born in New Jersey but moved to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico when he was 2 years old. He said Esteban Santiago grew up in the southern coastal town of Penuelas and served with the island's National Guard for a couple of years. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla, according to Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen.

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said that the gunman was carrying a military ID that identified him as Esteban Santiago, but that it was unclear whether the ID was his. Nelson gave no further information on the suspect.

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5 p.m.

A spokeswoman from the Canadian Embassy says the suspect in the shooting at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale has no connection to the country and did not fly to Florida from there.

Embassy spokeswoman Christine Constantin said in an email to The Associated Press that the suspect did not travel from Canada and was not on an Air Canada flight. She says the suspect has no connection to Canada.

The shooting happened at the airport's terminal 2, where Air Canada and Delta operate flights. Five were killed and eight wounded.

Constantin's email says, "We understand from officials he was on a flight originating in Anchorage, transiting through Minneapolis and landing in Ft. Lauderdale."

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3:35 p.m.

A county official says the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter pulled a gun out of a checked bag, loaded in a bathroom and started shooting, killing five people and wounding at least eight.

Chip LaMarca, a Broward County commissioner, was briefed on the airport shooting by Broward Sheriff's office. He told The Associated Press by phone that the shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight and had checked a gun.

LaMarca says the shooter pulled out the gun in the bathroom after claiming his bag.

Sheriff Scott Israel says the gunman was not harmed and that law enforcement did not fire any shots. He says it is not yet known if the shooting was an act of terror.

Israel also says there was nothing to substantiate reports of a second shooting at the airport.

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Official: Fort Lauderdale airport shooter a passenger on Canadian flight, checked gun in bag, loaded it in bathroom .

Sheriff: Suspect in Fort Lauderdale airport shooting is unharmed; law enforcement fired no shots.

3:15 p.m.

A passenger says he heard the first gunshots as he picked up his luggage from a baggage claim carousel in a shooting at a Florida airport that left five dead and eight wounded.

John Schilcher told Fox News the person next to him fell to the ground Friday. He says other people started falling, and he then dropped to the ground with his wife and mother-in-law. Schilcher says "the firing just went on and on."

He says the shooter emptied his weapon and reloaded during an eerily quiet lull in the gunfire. Schilcher says he didn't assume it was safe until he saw a police officer standing over him at the Fort Lauderdale international airport.

He says he remained on the ground and was told not to move as authorities investigated unconfirmed reports of a second shooting.

3 p.m.

Officials say there have been unconfirmed reports of additional shots fired at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after a gunman killed five people and wounded eight there.

On Friday afternoon, the Broward County sheriff's office said on its Twitter account: "Active search: Unconfirmed reports of addt'l shots fired on airport property."

Earlier in the afternoon, the shooting stopped all traffic at the airport. Passengers were evacuated from the terminal 2 baggage claim area. Passengers returned to the airport as officials said the lone gunman was in custody. But TV reports showed some passengers evacuating again, several looking panicked and ducking behind cars or hiding.

Witness Judah Fernandez told CNN he heard what he believes were the first shots, re-entered the airport, but then rushed out again shortly later to the tarmac. He said: "Everyone's running now." He said both security officials and passengers were running.

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2:50 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says the Fort Lauderdale airport gunman was carrying a military ID with the name Esteban Santiago, though it's not clear if it belonged to him or to someone else.

Nelson did not spell the name for reporters during a news conference Friday. Nelson says the baggage claim area is a "soft target." The airport had initially reported an "incident" in the baggage claim area.

Authorities say five people were killed and eight wounded in the shooting.

Nelson says a motive still hasn't been determined.

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2:30 p.m.

Authorities say five people were killed and eight were wounded after a lone suspect opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, international airport.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office tweeted the information following Friday afternoon's shooting.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN that authorities "have an active crime scene investigation involving terminal 2."

News stations showed video of medics taking care of a bleeding victim outside the airport. Helicopters hovering over the scene showed hundreds of people standing on the tarmac as an ambulance drove by and numerous law enforcement officers, including tactical units, rushed to the scene.

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeted that he was at the airport when shots were fired and `'everyone is running."

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1:50 p.m.

Authorities say multiple people have died after a lone suspect opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, international airport.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office tweeted the information following Friday afternoon's shooting.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN that authorities "have an active crime scene investigation involving terminal 2."

Miami area television stations reported that at least six people were shot. News stations showed video of medics taking care of a bleeding victim outside the airport. News helicopters hovering over the scene showed hundreds of people standing on the tarmac as an ambulance drove by and numerous law enforcement officers, including tactical units, rushed to the scene.

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeted that he was at the airport when shots were fired and "everyone is running."



 
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