Officials close to identifying person who leaked Fort Lauderdale shooting video

A suspect identified as Esteban Santiago is seen on surveillance video obtained by TMZ pulling out a gun and firing.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 10 (UPI) — Authorities investigating the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting said they are close to identifying the person who leaked a video of the start of the gunman’s rampage.

TMZ obtained and published the 22-second video of the start of the deadly shooting on Sunday and local and federal authorities believe the person who leaked the video is a law enforcement officer with high security clearance.

“We’re working with the FBI as partners in this investigation,” airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.

Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief on Monday said the video TMZ released was a recording taken with a cellphone of a surveillance footage recording showing Esteban Santiago, 26, pulling out a handgun from the right side of his hip to begin shooting.

The image of a person is reflected on the glass of the security monitor that was filmed and airport officials and the FBI enhanced the image in attempts to determine the person’s identity.

“We’re not tolerating this,” Sharief said. “This is an ongoing investigation. That tape shows a victim being shot and we don’t want that out on the street.”

The person who leaked the video could be charged with interfering with a federal investigation. If the video was sold for financial benefit, there would be an additional charge, Sharief said, adding that airport and FBI personnel have been ruled out.

The person who leaked the video could work for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Sharief said.

“It leaves BSO and a couple of other law enforcement agencies that were in that room,” Sharief said. “This person has high security clearance and they gave that video to TMZ. It is a grave concern to us.”

Sharief said it was possible the video was shot unnoticed because it was playing on several airport security monitors when officials were reviewing the footage.

“At this point we are fairly confident we can confirm who that individual is,” Sharief said.

Santiago could face the death penalty over the shooting that killed five people on Friday.

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