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.
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.