He was walking along casually like a normal passenger…
26-year-old Esteban Santiago strolled through baggage claim like any other passenger. His clothing and expressions were so normal that it is astonishing to see him reach into his waistband and pull out a 9mm handgun. His shots happened so quickly.
Reportedly, Santiago has served in the Army National Guard and had deployed to Iraq. He joined the Puerto Rico National Guard in December of 2007 and was in Iraq from April to February of 2010. Rumor has it that he also served int he Army Reserves but those rumors have not been confirmed.
One of Santiago’s social media profile bios read, “Here’s to finding whether or not your mission on earth is finish ; if your still alive … It isn’t.” It is nearly identical to a quote from American author Richard Bach’s 1977 novel “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah,” which he wrote as a follow-up to “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” published in 1970. The story poses the idea that reality is merely an illusion.
According to CNN, Santiago showed up at an FBI office in Anchorage a few months ago where he was interviewed and admitted he was hearing voices, including some telling him to join ISIS. He then checked himself into a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
The shooting started on Jan. 6, around 1 p.m., Santiago open fired on a crowd of people inside Terminal 2 of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
It is thought that he picked up his checked bag then entered a men’s room, where he loaded the weapon and returned to the Terminal 2 baggage claim. It is legal to check unloaded guns in a locked case.
Santiago was chased through the airport before being shot by pursuing officers.
Watch the graphic video footage below:
video caption: The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter walked casually through baggage claim before suddenly pulling his gun out and wreaking havoc.