FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 9 (UPI) — Broward County, Fla., officials said they’re investigating how surveillance footage of a shooter opening fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport became public.
TMZ obtained and published the 22-second video of the start of the deadly shooting, though it’s unclear who leaked it.
In the video, travelers can be seen walking inside the airport’s Terminal 2 baggage claim before a man wearing a blue, long-sleeve shirt pulls out a handgun from the right side of his hip.
The gunman fires several shots. Someone, who was near the gunman and blurred in the video, falls on the floor briefly before getting back up. The travelers are then seen running and taking cover.
Broward Mayor Barbara Shareif told the Sun Sentinel the video appeared to be a cellphone video recording of the security footage at the airport. Local, federal and airport officials are investigating how the footage got into the hands of TMZ and who had access to it.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said federal prosecutors charged Esteban Santiago, 26, with performing an act of violence against a person resulting in death at an airport serving international civil aviation and two other counts.
If prosecutors wish to pursue, Santiago could face the death penalty.
Four of the five victims killed in the shooting have been identified by media outlets, though officials have not yet released the victims’ names. Virginia Beach resident Terry Andres; Georgia resident Olga Woltering; Iowa resident Michael Oehme; and Ohio resident Shirley Timmons were killed.
Santiago said he checked his legally purchased 9-mm handgun before departure in Alaska, then picked it up after landing in South Florida on Friday. Santiago told agents he brought the gun into a bathroom where he loaded it, and stuck it in his waistband before using it to open fire on people inside the airport.
Santiago, a Puerto Rico National Guard veteran who served a tour in Iraq, received psychiatric treatment in Anchorage prior to the incident. In November, he arrived at the Anchorage FBI field office, saying agents of the Islamic State had invaded his brain and were forcing him to watch terrorist recruitment videos.
The FBI said agents brought Santiago to a local hospital where he checked in voluntarily for a mental health evaluation. Agents said they found no evidence at the time Santiago had conspired on behalf of the terror group. He was not on the FBI’s no-fly list.
Santiago fired 10 to 15 rounds, reloading his handgun once during the attack, authorities said. When he ran out of bullets he dropped the gun and laid on the ground waiting for police to take him into custody, witnesses said.