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The Latest: US seeks death penalty in airport shooting

Passengers wait in the departure line at terminal 2 Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, after the airport re-opened. Investigators continued their work downstairs in the baggage area of terminal 2 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport the day after a shooting. (Mike Stocker /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
January 07, 2017 - 2:26 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Latest on Airport Shooting-Florida (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the Florida airport shooting suspect that could bring the death penalty if he is convicted.

A criminal complaint filed Saturday by the Miami U.S. attorney's office accuses 26-year-old Esteban Santiago of an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death. The punishment is execution or any prison sentence up to life.

Prosecutors also charged Santiago with two firearms offences.

Santiago is accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others Friday at a Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport baggage claim. The FBI says Santiago travelled from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the shooting.

Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, is being held without bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.


4:45 p.m.

Authorities say they seized a gun from the alleged Florida airport shooter when he visited an FBI office in Alaska in November and returned it the next month.

The FBI and the Anchorage police chief said Saturday that Esteban Santiago walked into the local FBI office and was agitated and making incoherent statements. He had a loaded magazine on him, but he had left his firearm in his vehicle, as well as his newborn child.

Santiago was taken for a mental health evaluation and investigated, but authorities found no wrongdoing. They returned his gun to him about a month ago. Authorities would not say if it's the same gun used in the attack Friday.


1:50 p.m.

Florida hospital officials say one of the airport shooting victims is expected to be released.

Six gunshot victims were brought to Broward Health Medical Center after Friday's shooting in which five others died. Officials said Saturday at a news conference with Gov. Rick Scott that one is well enough for release.

Scott says three are still in intensive care. No details were released about any of the victims.

Authorities say the people were shot at random by 26-year-old Esteban Santiago in a baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago is in custody and expected to face federal charges in court Monday.


11 a.m.

Law enforcement officials say the gunman in a deadly Florida airport shooting had a semi-automatic handgun, and they expect to release charges against him this afternoon.

Authorities say Army veteran Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, killed five and wounded six Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

At a news conference Saturday, a day after the attack, the FBI said it had interviewed the suspect's family.

Local and federal officials also said at the news conference that they believe he came to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the attack, though they had not uncovered any triggers for it in their investigation. They say they still believe the shooter acted alone and that they have several critical leads.


10:50 a.m.

Law enforcement says there are six people recovering from gunshot wounds after the shooting at a Florida airport, decreasing that total from the number of eight given previously.

Sheriff Scott Israel gave the new information at a news conference Saturday, one day after the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport.

He says three are in good condition, and three are in intensive care.

Five people were killed in the shooting.


8 a.m.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has reopened following the terminal shooting that left five people dead and eight wounded.

Officials said on Twitter the airport reopened for commercial flights at 5 a.m. Saturday, although many flights are cancelled or delayed. Local media reported long lines of passengers were forming outside terminals.

Terminal 2 remained closed Saturday morning. That's where police say 26-year-old Esteban Santiago allegedly opened fire in a baggage claim area after retrieving a handgun from his checked luggage. Santiago remained jailed pending official charges.

The FBI and sheriff's office planned a news conference later Saturday morning.

Airport officials also say they are trying to match more than 20,000 bags and personal items with their owners. Authorities say it is a complex and time-consuming process.


2:30 a.m.

The gunman who fatally shot five people and wounded eight others in Fort Lauderdale's airport sent panicked passengers running out of the terminal and onto the tarmac with bags in hand.

Authorities say Army veteran Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, had complained that the government was controlling his mind drew a gun from his checked luggage on arrival and opened fire on fellow travellers.

FBI agent George Piro says authorities are looking at leads in several states and have not ruled out terrorism.

The airport was shut down, with incoming flights diverted and outgoing flights held on the ground. Airport Director Mark Gale said it will try to reopen at 5 a.m. Saturday but urged travellers to check with their individual airlines on flight status

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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