Terror struck thousands of travelers on Friday, Jan. 6, 2016, as a gunman, later identified as Iraqi War veteran, Esteban Santiago opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, located on Florida’s southeastern coast.
Santiago bought a one-way ticket from Anchorage, Alaska, to Fort Lauderdale, where he traveled with a handgun and two magazines in his legally-checked language.
“After landing, he retrieved the checked handgun case from baggage claim, went to a bathroom and loaded the weapon, then tucked it into his waistband,” announced the FBI, according to NBC News. He did not have an intended target, but rather shot, at random, those who happened to be close by.
Shortly after opening fire, killing five people and wounding several others, Santiago was taken into custody.
According to 10 News Santiago will be charged with “performing an act of violence against a person at an airport serving international civil aviation that caused serious bodily injury, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm.”
Family members including Santiago’s brother, Bryan Santiago, and aunt, Maria Ruiz Rivera, both say he “didn’t get the help he needed”reported CNN.
The gunman reportedly had visions of the destruction he witnessed, and the killing of children during his Iraq deployment from April 2010 to February 2011. Although Santiago went to authorities for help claiming the government was trying to control his mind, he only spent four days in a psychological center before being released.
As noted by CNN, “Bryan Santiago said he believes the shooting rampage resulted from mental issues that appeared after Iraq.”
After serving his deployment, he joined the Alaska Army National Guard in November of 2014. Santiago was later discharged for unsatisfactory performance in August 2016.
Authorities have not claimed a motive, but the FBI confirmed that the attack was planned for some time and are not ruling out terrorism for the moment.