Brother: Suspect in Fla. Airport Shooting Treated for Mental Health
The brother of the man who has been tentatively named as the suspect in a deadly shooting at a Florida airport has said the suspect had been receiving psychological treatment while living in Alaska.
Bryan Santiago told The Associated Press that his family got a call in recent months from 26-year-old Esteban Santiago’s girlfriend alerting them to the situation.
Bryan Santiago said he didn’t know what his brother was being treated for and that they never talked about it over the phone.
He said Esteban Santiago, 26, was born in New Jersey but moved to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico when he was 2 years old. He said Esteban Santiago grew up in the southern coastal town of Penuelas and served with the island’s National Guard for a couple of years and was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla, according to Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said that the gunman was carrying a military ID that identified him as Esteban Santiago, but that it was unclear whether the ID was his. Nelson gave no further information on the suspect.
A spokeswoman from the Canadian Embassy added that the suspect in the shooting at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale has no connection to the country and did not fly to Florida from there.
Embassy spokeswoman Christine Constantin said in an email to The Associated Press that the suspect did not travel from Canada and was not on an Air Canada flight. She says the suspect has no connection to Canada.
The shooting happened at the airport’s terminal 2, where Air Canada and Delta operate flights. Five were killed and eight wounded.
Constantin’s email says, “We understand from officials he was on a flight originating in Anchorage, transiting through Minneapolis and landing in Ft. Lauderdale.”
Meanwhile, a county official says the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter pulled a gun out of a checked bag, loaded in a bathroom and started shooting, killing five people and wounding at least eight.
Chip LaMarca, a Broward County commissioner, was briefed on the airport shooting by Broward Sheriff’s office. He told The Associated Press by phone that the shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight and had checked a gun.
LaMarca says the shooter pulled out the gun in the bathroom after claiming his bag.
Sheriff Scott Israel says the gunman was not harmed and that law enforcement did not fire any shots. He says it is not yet known if the shooting was an act of terror.
Israel also says there was nothing to substantiate reports of a second shooting at the airport.