[UPDATED 4:16 PM Central]
We are getting additional information in regarding the shooting incident at Ft. Lauderdale airport in Florida earlier today. According to the local police department the suspect in question arrived on a Canadian flight with a checked firearm, retrieved it in the baggage claim area, loaded it in the bathroom, and then began shooting. From Fox News’ reporting:
The suspect in custody was identified as Esteban Santiago, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters. He said Santiago was carrying a military ID, but did not elaborate.
“The shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight with a checked gun,” Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca wrote on Facebook. “He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it. Came out shooting people in baggage claim.”
Santiago was taken into custody without incident and was unharmed, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
“This scene is considered fluid and active,” Israel added.
Air Canada is now stating that they do not have any record of an individual by the name identified by Senator Bill Nelson arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on any of their flights. The shooting took place in Terminal 2, which services Air Canada and Delta as well as their respective regional partners. Delta operates flights to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, and Raleigh from Ft. Lauderdale, but no international flights.
Firearms are allowed in checked luggage on domestic U.S. flights provided they are (1) unloaded, (2) in a hard sided locked container, and (3) declared to the check-in agent when arriving at the airport. Each airline has variations on this policy but all of them have some sort of way to check a firearm during your flight. Flying with firearms on an international flight (if the shooter was “a passenger on a Canadian flight”) is possible with prior ATF approval and additional paperwork. That said, typically international arrivals will gather their checked luggage before clearing customs and would not be obtaining their luggage in the common baggage claim area as indicated in this case by local law enforcement.
Concealed carry is illegal within the terminal buildings of an airport in the state of Florida even with a concealed carry permit.
The latest report indicates that five people are dead and eight have been transported to local hospitals.