Broward County

The latest updates on the aftermath of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

A Hazmat crew cleans up the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the day after multiple people were shot there.
A Hazmat crew cleans up the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the day after multiple people were shot there. adiaz@miamiherald.com

8:15 P.M. A Fort Lauderdale Chabad rabbi rushed to the airport to offer support in the aftermath of Friday’s shooting. Here’s his story.

8 P.M In November, shooter Esteban Santiago was taken into custody after visiting an FBI office in Anchorage, Alaska, and telling agents the CIA was trying to control his mind. The cops took a gun he’d left in his car with his newborn son. A month later, he got the gun back. Santiago is charged with three federal offenses punishable by death.

6 P.M. Shirley Timmons, of Ohio, was among those killed Friday, according a relative. Here’s our updated story on victims.

4:30 P.M. Airbnb is offering free refuge for displaced travelers.

4 P.M. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is offering free grief counseling to anyone in the area impacted by the tragic shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The company is working with New Directions Behavioral Health to offer counseling in English and Spanish. To get in touch with a counselor, call the 24-hour, toll-free help line at 800-843-6514.

3 P.M. In the rush to evacuate terminals at the airport, all kinds of bags and personal items were abandoned. Airport officials are advising people to called 866-435-9355 for baggage and personal item retrieval.

Buses from the Department of Motor Vehicles are parked between Terminals 1 and 2 on the lower level to provide travelers with new government-issued IDs.

2:15 P.M. Florida Gov. Rick Scott directs flags to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations and grounds throughout Florida from sunrise to sunset Saturday and Sunday.

2 P.M. Three of the shooting victims in Friday’s attack at the airport are in intensive care while three more are in good condition. Meanwhile, lines at the airport remain long at the as travelers and officials work to resume normal operations. Passengers face flight delays —Delta Air Lines canceled nearly all of its Saturday flights into Fort Lauderdale.

NOON: So far, news outlets have reported the names of three of the five people killed in Friday’s horrific shooting. Here’s what we know about them.

11 A.M. In a press conference Saturday morning, FBI spokesman George L. Piro said investigators believe shooter Esteban Santiago flew to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the horrible attack, but they have found “no specific reason” why he chose the South Florida airport. It appears he acted alone, but the motive remains a mystery. Read more here.

8:52 A.M. Gov. Rick Scott spoke Saturday to assure the public that Florida's tourism industry will thrive despite fears of safety and visitors stranded or delayed in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale's airport.

“We love our tourists and we want them to keep coming back,” Scott said at a morning press conference at the airport. “The number one priority for our state is safety.”

The governor spoke the morning after a gunman opened fire inside the baggage claim at the busy airport, killing five people and wounding several others. The accused gunman, Esteban Santiago, 26, was booked into a Broward County jail early Saturday, while awaiting federal charges.

Esteban Santiago suspected of rampantly shooting 13 people at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday afternoon, killing five and injuring eight, is a decorated U.S. Army Iraq veteran who flew to South Florida from Alaska — where

The airport re-opened early Saturday. Scott also mentioned the Pulse nightclub shooting, another mass shooting earlier this year that cast a spotlight on security in the state's public spaces.

Governor Scott presser at Broward Health Medical Center after he visited patients at the hospital on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

In speaking to the media, Scott promised swift justice but did not reveal anything new about the investigation, deferring to law-enforcement officials who are scheduled to speak later in the morning.

Scott did recount meeting with survivors, including a woman who was shot in the arm. “She thinks she is going to be discharged today,” Scott said.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened at 5 a.m. less than 24 hours after a devastating shooting that left five dead and six injured. Many flights were delayed, canceled or rerouted but some normal operations have resumed. The lo

2 A.M. A second victim has been identified in news reports from Atlanta. Olga Woltering, of Marietta, was among those killed Friday in the shooting, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. According to a Facebook post from a member of her church, she and her husband were supposed to go on a cruise Saturday.

OlgaWoltering
Olga Woltering, left, has been identified as one of the victims in Friday’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Facebook

Olga Woltering, left, has been identified as one of the victims in Friday’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Photo from Facebook

12:30 A.M. SATURDAY: The Broward Sheriff’s Office said the FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left five dead, eight more with bullet wounds and around three dozen more injured in the ensuing chaos.

The shooter, 26-year-old Army veteran Esteban Santiago, will booked into Broward County Jail after FBI agent complete their questioning, according to an announcement early Saturday morning.

One victim has been identified in news reports: 62-year-old Terry Andres. Authorities are not naming any of the dead because their families are still being notified.

The Broward Sheriff and FBI will hold the next press conference at 10 a.m. Saturday in the airport.

MIDNIGHT: Some normal operations have resumed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The airport’s official Twitter account tweeted that cargo and general aviation, such as private small planes and corporate jets, were going to resume at midnight. Commercial flights are expected to resume later Saturday, but travelers are encouraged to call their individual airlines for more details because flights may have been canceled.

10:15 P.M. Authorities hold final 10-minute press conference at the airport tonight, with some new information on the shooting in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 around midday Friday.

▪ FBI spokesperson George Piro says shooter Esteban Santiago, an American citizen, used a semi-automatic handgun. He is in federal custody, will be charged federally and will most likely make his first appearance Monday.

The FBI was familiar with Santiago — he had voluntarily walked into the bureau’s field office in Anchorage, Alaska in November. Piro says Santiago stated he did not intend to harm anyone, but his erratic behavior concerned FBI agents who interviewed him. He was turned over to local police, who took him to a medical facility for a mental health evaluation.

The investigation spans several states with several leads, Piro said.

“We have not ruled out terrorism,” he said. “And we will be pursuing every angle to try to determine the motive behind this attack. And any associates, any connections, any communications, anything you can imagine — I assure you we are pursuing every possible lead.”

▪ Airport Director Mark Gale says the officials are working to get the airport opened again by 5 a.m. Saturday. In the meantime, dozens of buses are transporting around 10,000 stranded travelers to a makeshift shelter at Terminal 4 at Port Everglades, where they’re getting food and assistance from the Red Cross. Travelers are encouraged to contact their individual airlines for more information on flights.

▪ Broward Sheriff Scott Israel confirms the details of the attack: That Santiago opened fire just before 1 p.m. in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 of the airport using a gun he’d checked in his luggage. He’d arrived on a flight from Minneapolis. Five people were killed and eight more shot. He added that 30-40 people were treated with minor injuries sustained during the chaos — contusions, broken bones, strains and sprains.

He says Esteban was arrested immediately, without incident, and interviewed extensively by a team of FBI agents and Broward Sheriff’s deputies.

“The investigation continues,” he said.

9:50 P.M. Survivor Steve Frappier speaks to the Miami Herald. His laptop took a bullet for him.

9:40 P.M. The first victim has been identified. Terry Andres, 62, was from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read more here.

9:30 P.M. Here’s our recap of reactions from politicians, including President Barack Obama, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, and President-elect Donald Trump.

9 P.M. Authorities are expected to provide an update at around 9:30 p.m. at a press conference at the airport. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, hundreds of passengers are being bused to Port Everglades and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

 

#latestnews #people #waiting for the #bus solo queda cojerlo, esto va para largo #seprendioestamierda

A video posted by Guillermo Castillo (@guillecastillop) on

8:45 P.M. Passengers who have been stuck in airplanes all day are being allowed to get off, according to the Jeff Levy of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force.

8:25 P.M. A survivor speaks to Anderson Cooper on CNN. Steve Frappier, the former director of college counseling at Ransom Everglades School, says he was shot at by Santiago. Wearing a backpack with his laptop in it, the MacBook caught a bullet, which was later recovered by law enforcement.

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Photo from Facebook

Frappier says the whole ordeal happened quickly.

“All of this was over and done with in about 90 seconds.”

8:15 P.M. More details about the shooter, Esteban Santiago have been confirmed.

Jesse Davis, police chief at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, says Santiago boarded Delta flight 1088 to Minneapolis for a 9:52 p.m. flight Thursday.

He was alone. The only piece of luggage he checked in, according to Davis, was a handgun.

Asked if that's out of the norm, someone checking in just a gun, Davis says, "Not that we can tell. It's in accordance with policy to be in a lockable case."

Davis says there was no record of Santiago acting strangely when he boarded, and he wasn't on any list that airport workers were aware of.

7:50 P.M. Scott addresses reporters after visiting Broward General Hospital. “This is a tough day for our state,” he says. Scott says Obama called him to extended condolences and offer help. “I appreciate that when something like this happens, you know that you have the support of the federal government.”

He shared the website address for those who have been displaced as a result of canceled flights: http://floridadisaster.org/info/. The site lists the Residence Hotel at 1617 SE 17th St. in Fort Lauderdale as the family assistance center.

7:45 P.M. The White House issues a statement saying Obama spoke to Scott and Sharief following the shooting. “The president, on behalf of the American people, extended his sincere condolences to the families and other loved ones of those killed and noted that his thoughts and prayers are with the wounded,” reads a statement from National Safety Council spokesperson Ned Price. “He added that federal authorities will continue to assist the ongoing investigation into this horrific shooting.”

7:30 P.M. At Miami International Airport, security tightened up. Police armed with machine guns stood near baggage carousels. Read more here.

7:27 P.M. Flight passengers have remained grounded on aircraft all day. Some took to social media from inside the cabin.

More witnesses are sharing their accounts of the shooting. Debra Fulgleberg was at the airport after a cruise with 19 family members trying to return to Rochester, Minnesota, when she heard the "pop pop pop" of gunfire.

"People came running,” she said. “We didn't know which way to go."

At one point everybody was told to hit the floor, and she lay on floor for about 10 minutes.

7:20 P.M. The Broward Sheriff’s Office tweeted that everyone without vehicles is getting shuttled to Port Everglades.

7:15 P.M. Some travelers had just arrived when the shooting started. They were stuck in airplanes and ever after getting on the ground, they were kept on the pavement for hours.

Margie Ngo and her family were on a plane that was held on the runway right after landing — a flight attendant said something about a situation at Terminal 2.

They filtered off the plane and were headed to their shuttle when someone yelled "Run."

In the stampede, Ngo saw passengers get trampled, but her family made it behind a low wall, where they laid on the ground.

Police found them there and ushered them into the back room of a travel store in the airport. They lowered the metal security gate at the front of the store and guarded the crowd of people.

About an hour and a half later, officers armed with rifles escorted the group outside, between terminal two and three.

The family has been sitting on the ground for hours without food or water. From their vantage, they can see a drying puddle of blood where a wounded victim once lay,

When she had to use the restroom she asked an officer for advice.

"He told me to find a bush," she said.

7 P.M. Stranded travelers made their way to Snyder Park, at 3299 SW 4th Ave. on foot, via golf cart or a bus.

The Rudolph family, who was on their way home after a week in the Keys, was in Terminal 2 for a 1:46 p.m. flight to Detroit when 17-year-old Marisa said, “everyone started screaming and running and getting on the ground.”

The family headed to the runway and then to the park and will now be leaving on a 5:30 a.m. Delta flight. They’ll be without their luggage as it was already checked in.

“The important thing is we are all ok,” said Pam Rudolph, Marisa's mom, who had been separated from her family for a period of time because she was in Delta's Sky Lounge. "We will make it home."

7 P.M. More SWAT team members are entering the airport to clear the terminals. Passengers and travelers have been stuck all day. Airport officials announced passengers with personal vehicles will begin to leave the airport.

6:26 P.M. Sen. Bill Nelson offers thoughts and prayers to the victims but no new information in a statement. He said that even with additional TSA canine teams it’s difficult to prevent these kinds of attacks and that travelers should remain vigilant.

6:15 P.M. Some passengers who took Tri-Rail to get to the airport are stuck at the Griffin Road station waiting for news about their flights. Jett Freeman and Kristina Curry had left the West Palm Beach station just after 1 p.m. and were heading to the airport to take a flight back to Austin, Texas.

"We are just grateful that we weren't there," said Curry, who was in town for New Year's Eve. She was scheduled to move tomorrow, but canceled plans once she learned her flight was grounded. "This whole thing is really scary."

6 P.M. A portait of the suspected shooter is emerging. Esteban Santiago, a former U.S. Army combat engineer, was reportedly receiving mental health treatment. It’s unclear why he was in Fort Lauderdale or where he flew in from.

5:55 P.M. A trauma surgeon at Broward Health Medical Center tells reporters that "no one who has arrived at the hospital has expired." There were six patients brought to Broward General deemed as "trauma" patients. Two underwent surgery. All are in stable condition.

Read more about the somber scene at Broward Health Medical Center.

5:20 P.M. Gov. Rick Scott arrives in Fort Lauderdale and addresses the media. He says he heard about the shooting while in Fort Myers. Scott offers no new information. He calls it a “senseless act of evil.” The governor says he did not reach out to, nor has he heard from President Barack Obama, but he spoke to President-elect Donald Trump and incoming Vice President Mike Pence.

5 P.M. Bus loads of people, who had made it outside the airport, are dropped off on US-1 and Griffin Road. Many are stuck trying to figure out where to go and how to get there.

Lydia Moore says her Southwest Airlines flight to Atlanta had landed at 12:15 p.m and she was in Terminal 1 waiting for her cousin to pick her up. She flew in for a funeral.

"My first thought was I had to get out there," she said. "We thought we were in the clear and then we saw a bunch of officers with really big guns telling us to get out."

4:30 P.M. Other airports around the U.S. have taken extra security measures. In Memphis, Carla Tipton Summer arrived on a flight that took off from Fort Lauderdale shortly after the shooting. The flight arrived at the Memphis airport around 4 p.m., but the passengers are on lock down and have been ordered to remain at the terminal. Tipton said they have not been told why they cannot leave.

Tipton said passengers were already on the plane at Terminal 2 in Fort Lauderdale when the shooting took place. They found out about the shooting when friends and family started sending messages. "We were calling frantically telling all of our families that we are OK," she said.

Tipton said the pilot did not make any announcements about the shooting.

4:28 P.M. Police outside the airport are searching people as they exit terminals.

3:30 P.M. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel addresses the media at the airport, confirming that five are dead and eight injured. He says there was only one shooter in Terminal 2, who was arrested unharmed, and no other shooter is at large.

Video shows chaotic scene at baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, including one shooting victim.

3:13 P.M. The Federal Aviation Administration announces that no flights are arriving or departing from Fort Lauderdale. Flights destined for Fort Lauderdale were grounded.

3 P.M. Many passengers on tarmac are ushered across the runway to hangars. Deputies brief people, telling them authorities suspect possible active shooter.

2:30 P.M. Alarms sound at Terminal 1, and people are told to stay down. People are evacuated onto tarmac, joining a large crowd of travelers who are stuck either on the ground or inside parked airplanes.

 

A video posted by Chris Ritter (@chrisritter0270) on

2:26 P.M. Broward Sheriff’s Office confirms that five are dead and eight are injured and taken to the hospital.

2:20 P.M. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, briefed by local and national authorities, shares name of suspected shooter live on MSNBC. Officials later confirm the suspect is Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old native of the New York/New Jersey area who was living in Alaska, and he was carrying some form of military ID. He is believed to be a former U.S. Army soldier.

1:43 P.M. Sheriff’s Office confirms that multiple people are dead. Eight more were taken to the hospital with injuries. Authorities take suspect into custody.

1:21 P.M. The first trauma patient arrived at Broward Health Medical Center. Doctors later said first responders and medical personnel reacted swiftly and smoothly, even though it would have looked like chaos if you’d taken a picture of it.

BETWEEN 1 and 1:30 P.M. Travelers in the airport are evacuated from terminals onto tarmac. Passengers in planes are stuck on the ground.

Passengers can be seen on the Fort Lauderdale International airport's tarmac following a shooting on Jan. 6, 2017.

12:55 P.M. Broward County Sheriff’s Office receives calls about shots fired in Terminal 2.

12:50 P.M. The gunman arrives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Authorities believe he retrieved his bag from a carousel in Terminal 2, walked into the bathroom and loaded his weapon. After stepping back into the baggage claim area, he opened fire.

 

Witnesses said people were running and screaming in the immediate aftermath.

“Security didn’t seem to be panicking. They didn’t seem to know what was going on,” said David Steiger, who had just flown in from Philadelphia on business.

He said he was fortunate that his ride made it to him and he got out of the airport before the situation became more chaotic.

“At that point it was too early for people to know what was going on,” Steiger said.

Miami Herald staff writers Julie Brown, Charles Rabin and David Smiley contributed to this report.

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