Fort Lauderdale Shooter Initially Intended to Travel to New York Before Booking Florida Flight
Cops say Esteban Santiago initially booked New Year's Day tickets to New York City before getting a one-way flight to Florida.
The man accused of killing five people in Friday's Fort Lauderdale airport shooting originally made arrangements to travel to New York City, according to reports.
A law enforcement source told CBS News that Esteban Santiago originally booked a flight from Anchorage to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport to New York’s JFK Airport with a final destination of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
According to the source, the former U.S. Army reservist would have arrived in New York on New Year's Day.
Santiago reportedly had a habit of frequently booking and canceling flights.
However, after changing his mind about the New York-bound ticket, the 26-year-old reserved a seat on a one-way flight to Florida.
About 45 minutes after he arrived, cops say Santiago pulled a 9mm handgun out of his waistband and fired round after round in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
A video of the attack was revealed Monday.
"The area was crowded with newly-arrived passengers retrieving their luggage," the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. "Santiago started shooting, aiming at his victims’ heads until he was out of ammunition."
Five people were killed and six others were left wounded.
Just two months earlier, investigators say Santiago voluntarily entered the Anchorage FBI office, where he told authorities his mind was being controlled by U.S. intelligence.
Anchorage police said Santiago was "having terroristic thoughts and believed he was influenced by ISIS."
Santiago was briefly hospitalized. However, upon his release, Santiago was allowed to collect his gun.
Authorities believe it was the same weapon used in the January 6 attack.
Santiago was federally charged Saturday with an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, which carries a maximum punishment of execution, as well as weapons charges. According to court documents, Santiago confessed to the FBI that he planned the attack.
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