Airport Shooting Suspect Makes Court Appearance

January 9, 2017 Updated: January 9, 2017

The Iraq war veteran accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six at a crowded Florida airport baggage claim briefly appeared in federal court Monday in Fort Lauderdale.

Suspect Esteban Ruiz Santiago. (Broward Sheriff's Office via AP)
Suspect Esteban Ruiz Santiago. (Broward Sheriff’s Office via AP)

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Valle explained the charges 26-year-old Esteban Santiago faces and told him the death penalty could apply during a 15-minute hearing Monday morning.

Security was tight outside the courthouse with more than two-dozen officers in bulletproof vests. Santiago wore a red jumpsuit and was shackled at the wrists, stomach and legs.

Santiago has been in custody since the Friday afternoon shooting. He answered the judge’s questions in a clear voice. He told the judge he worked for a security firm in Anchorage, Alaska, until November. He said he only has about $5 to $10 in the bank.

The judge set a detention hearing for Jan. 17 and an arraignment hearing on Jan. 23.