by Brian Hayes | Top Right News
The shooting at a Florida airport is worse than authorities initially feared, and the shooter — who is in custody — was just identified.
After reports that 3 people were dead, we got our first hint that there were additional casualties from former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who was in an adjacent terminal when the incident began:
The police said there is one shooter and five victims.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 6, 2017
But it took an hour for officials to confirm the grim statistic: FIVE confirmed deaths.
A Dutch passenger showed a shocking video of two victims who had been fatally shot in the head right in front of baggage claim:
Shooting reported at Ft. Lauderdale airport in Florida Airport Evacuated. pic.twitter.com/w0TIwb2dtU
— Darl van Dijk (@Lastcombo) January 6, 2017
Witnesses in fact reported that the gunman was “shooting at people’s heads” during the assault — even shooting people lying on the ground in panic.
And now the gunman’s identity has been revealed:
Santiago was born in 1990, reportedly in New Jersey, and is 26 years old. He is 5-10 to 6 feet, dark hair, slender, wearing a Star Wars T-shirt.
Sen. Bill Nelson just said on MSNBC, saying Santiago was carrying military identification
UPDATE: A possible motive.
Sources just told the DailyMail that “terrorism is now being investigated as a motive for the attack.”
UPDATE: Santiago reportedly checked his bag for a Canadian Air flight, but then “retrieved” a gun from that bag:
NBC saying Santiago got his gun from a checked bag, went into the bathroom to load it, came out and started shooting. Security fail.
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) January 6, 2017
President-Elect Donald J. Trump sent out this tweet on the situation:
Monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Neither the White House or Barack Obama have commented on the Florida attack at this time.
Passengers can be seen comforting loved ones on the floor:
Witnesses told NBC Miami that the shooter was silent and didn’t appear to be targeting anyone in particular – ‘popping off bullets at random’.
John Schlicher, who told MSNBC he saw the attack, described the shooter as a ‘slender man’ who was ‘directly firing at us’ while passengers waited for their bags to come off the carousel.
‘I put my head down and prayed,’ Schlicher said, adding that his wife gave first aid to someone who had been shot in the head.
His mother-in-law used her sweater to tend to another victim but it turned out that victim was already dead, Schlicher said.
The shooter reloaded once for a second burst of shooting, Schlicher said, but he could not say how many bullets were fired.
Mark Lea, a 53-year-old financian adviser from Minneapolis, says he was in baggage claim when the shooting started.
‘I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way,’ Lea said.
‘At first we thought it was firecrackers,’ he said. ‘Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.’
After he ran out of ammo, the shooter reportedly just “sat there and waited for police,” according to a witness.
Prayers up for the victims and their families.
This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.