At least five people are dead and at least eight have been hospitalized with injuries after a shooting broke out Friday afternoon at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, CNN reports. NBC News confirms that a suspect with military identification, 26-year-old New Jersey native Esteban Santiago, has been taken into custody, but his motives are still unknown to the public.
The shooting happened in the baggage claim of Terminal 2 just outside a security checkpoint. People evacuated to the tarmac after shots were fired, while airport police chased down Santiago and eventually captured him at a departure gate, says The New York Times. According to Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Santiago was a passenger on a Candian flight, checked his gun and then went to the bathroom to load his weapon. About an hour after the news of the shooting broke, reports of a possible second shooter emerged, Florida’s ABC 10 News reports, but were later denied by police.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2017
The airport is currently closed and authorities have determined that the crime scene remains active. Flight passengers and employees remain at the airport while police investigate. The majority of flights meant to land at the airport will be delayed or redirected to other airports. “We have our units on site and around the perimeter to provide assistance and support, and we remain ready, willing, and able to provide additional assistance, support and resources,” Fort Lauderdale Major John P. Seller said in a statement reported by The Washington Post.
Witnesses have shared their experiences on Twitter and various news outlets. “I got off the plane and I saw people running and screaming,” Gene Messina told CNN. “At first I was in shock but when I saw TSA agents running, I booked.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 6, 2017
President-Elect Donald Trump also tweeted about the emergency, offering his sentiments.
Monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
In a press briefing involving Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and airport director Mark Gale, it was revealed that Santiago "was taken into custody without incident" and that FBI representatives would not reveal the type of weapon used in the incident. As of now, the situation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are with those at the Fort Lauderdale airport and their families.
For more updates, keep an eye on the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport's Twitter account.
Please do not call 911. If you have any questions or concerns about the #FLLShooting please call 954-831-4000 or 311. Please be patient.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) January 6, 2017