UPDATE: The picture depicts the gunman wearing a black on green Palestinian Keffiyeh scarf giving a “one-finger salute,” a gesture also displayed by the Turkish police officer who shot the Russian ambassador in December.
An armed man who shot dead five people and injured 8 others at Fort Lauderdale Airport was interviewed earlier in November by the FBI, as he was claiming that he was mind-controlled by the US government, forced to watch ISIS videos and to become a jihadi.
The prime suspect in the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale is an Iraq-war veteran, Esteban Santiago. After taking his weapon from his checked luggage at the airport, he opened fire in Fort Lauderdale’s baggage claim area.
The 26 years old Esteban Santiago was arrested and taken into custody immediately after the mass shooting and interviewed at length. The suspect is facing federal charges following the shooting rampage according to a special agent for the FBI who assisted with interviewing the perpetrator.
The special agent in charge of the FBI investigation with regard to the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale, George Piro respectively,said that they’re not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive in the shooting rampage at the airport, while they’re currently reviewing Esteban’s recent travel.
Esteban Santiago who served in the US military arrived at Fort Lauderdale around 1 PM local time via a connecting flight from Alaska when he grabbed his 9 mm semi-automatic pistol from his checked luggage and began shooting at people indiscriminately.
The shooter was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt and he reportedly went inside a restroom to load his weapon and came out blazing. Interestingly enough, the suspect kept quiet as he fired according to witnesses i.e. he said absolutely nothing. After emptying his clip, Esteban Santiago surrendered to the police immediately.
According to videos posted on social media, at least 2 victims were shot in the head. In addition to the aforementioned victims, 5 shot dead and 8 wounded, dozens had to receive medical attention from the local hospitals as they suffered from broken bones and bruises in the mayhem following the mass shooting.
FBI special agent Piro said that Esteban showed up at the FBI office in Anchorage a couple of months ago, in November 2016, behaving erratically and claiming that he was a victim of government mind control, who forced him to watch ISIS videos and to become an Islamic State soldier.
The FBI turned Santiago over to the local police and he was taken to a medical facility where he received a psychiatric evaluation.
Santiago is a combat engineer and a first class private who received 6 medals during his service in Iraq, from where he returned “a different person”, according to his aunt.