Information continues to develop in the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting incident from earlier today. The latest reports indicate that the suspected perpetrator was a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard where he served for 10 months in Iraq, earning the Combat Action Badge award. Afterward he moved to Alaska where he was in the Army Reserves before joining the Alaska National Guard in 2014. A spokesperson says that the suspect was discharged from the National Guard this past August for unsatisfactory performance.
According to CNN the suspect walked into an FBI field office in Anchorage, Alaska several months ago claiming that he heard voices in his head, some telling him to join ISIS. He was voluntarily committed to a mental health facility (only those involuntarily committed are on the prohibited person list for FBI NICS gun sale background checks) for a mental health check, the results of which are unknown.
Today’s event started when the suspect boarded a flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with a layover in Minneapolis. He declared his checked firearm to the agent, following company policy which allows checked firearms to travel on commercial flights provided that they are locked and unloaded. Upon reaching his destination the suspect removed the firearm (a handgun) from its case while in the restroom, loaded the firearm, and began firing into the crowd. Reports indicate that the suspect reloaded repeatedly.
The death toll from today’s incident remains at five people dead with eight more in the hospital. More details as they emerge.