This is everything we know about the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting so far.

After news broke on Saturday morning that a gunman had opened fire in a Florida airport, details have slowly come to light about who was involved and the timeline that led to the tragedy.

This is what we know so far.

The events

At about 1pm local time, and at about 5am AEDT, a gunman opened fire at a baggage carousel at terminal two at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.

Five people were killed and eight were wounded, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at the airport, the ABC reports.

According to Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca on Twitter, the gunman had arrived at the airport on a flight along with a gun in his checked bag. Transport Security Administration rules dictate that firearms can legally be carried in checked luggage if they are unloaded and stored in a locked and hard-walled container.

Upon arrival at the airport, the shooter retrieved his bag, headed to the bathroom to load the gun before opening fire at a baggage carousel.

He was then taken into custody unharmed, after police did not fire any retaliation shots. It is believed he wore a Star Wars T-shirt and said nothing as he fired, witnesses told MSNBC. Air traffic has since been shut down at the airport indefinitely.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the second-largest airport in South Florida, behind Miami.

Who was involved?

The five who were killed and eight wounded are yet to be identified.

The suspected shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, who was carrying US military identification at the time of his arrest.

In an interview with NBC, Santiago’s brother Bryan said he had served in the National Guard in Puerto Rico for six years, and was deployed in Iraq for about a year in 2010.

“He was pro-America,” Bryan said, adding that “he is a regular person, spiritual, a good person.”

Upon his return to Puerto Rico from Iraq, Bryan said his brother struggled to find a job and moved to Alaska for work opportunities.  However, he was recently hospitalised in Alaska after “something got to him”, his aunt told NBC sister station Telemundo-47.

“I know that right now he was working in security [in Alaska],” she said. “But about two months ago, he was in the hospital.”


“Something got to him,” she said. “It looks like he lost his mind. He would say that he would see things. I don’t know. So he went to the hospital. That’s what I know. That’s what the mother told me, who lives in Puerto Rico.”

In November last year, Santiago allegedly walked into the FBI office in Anchorage, claiming the US government was controlling his mind and making him watch Islamic State videos, a law enforcement official told AP.

After being questioned by police, Santiago was taken for a mental health evaluation despite not appearing to be interested in hurting anyone.

Santiago had been working as a security guard in Alaska where he also had a girlfriend and child.

The investigations

Initial investigations into the shooting focused on unconfirmed reports that there was an active search for another gunman, after rumour surfaced that shots had been fired at another part of the airport.

However, at a press conference just hours after the shooting, Sheriff Israel dismissed rumours of multiple gunmen, after footage of the events following the shooting showed hundreds of people gathered on the tarmac of the airport, some running.

“At this point, there’s no second active shooter,” Israel said. “There’s been no shooting in any place else than in the downstairs of terminal two.”

Mr. Israel said it is too early to assign a motive, and that “it’s too early to say” whether it can be considered a terrorist attack yet.

What now?

There is no word about when flights will re-open at the airport. Airport director Mark Gale says there is no rush to re-open the building.

“We’re just going to go step-by-step, methodically through the building before we go any steps to reopen operations,” he said.

President-elect Donald Trump said he had been briefed on the events, writing on Twitter: “Monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!”

Florida Governor Rick Scott also wrote on Twitter that he had arrived in Fort Lauderdale and “monitoring the shooting with law enforcement”.

“We will use every available resource to keep citizens safe,” he wrote.

*Feature image via Twitter/BBC.