A volunteer firefighter headed to a vacation with his wife and a great-grandmother celebrating her husband’s birthday were among the five killed when a gunman opened fire at a Ft. Lauderdale airport on Friday, according to family members.
Terry Andres, of Virginia, Olga Woltering, of Georgia, and Michael Oehme, of Iowa, were all killed when Esteban Santiago, 26, started shooting in the terminal 2 baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, prompting mass chaos.
Authorities have not released the victims’ identities.
Andres, 62, was on a vacation with his wife when the shooting broke out and he died after being shot multiple times, according to reports. His wife was reportedly able to escape.
His family told WAVY-TV that Andres was set to celebrate his birthday later this month.
Woltering, a retiree, was scheduled to go on a cruise from Florida on Saturday for her husband’s 90th birthday. She was reportedly struck once and also died inside of the terminal, according to reports.
Her Atlanta church took to Facebook to express the sadness over her loss.
“Tragedy hit too close to home today. Transfiguration Church lost a very loving and caring woman in the Ft Lauderdale airport attack…Prayers also lifted up for a crazy and cruel world,” they wrote.
Oehme was also on the way to a cruise with his wife when he was shot and killed, according to reports. His wife, Kari Oehme, was also reportedly shot in the shoulders, but is expected to recover.
A witness to the shootings, Steve Frappier, told CNN, that his backpack saved his life.
"I felt something hit my back," Frappier said. “It was only later when I went to the bathroom to check myself out that the bullet had entered my backpack, hit my laptop... That would have been my back.”
Esteban Santiago, an Iraq veteran and new father, was taken into custody without incident after the shooting which wounded eight others in addition to the five killed.
Santiago was pictured in handcuffs Saturday as he was transferred to the Broward County Main Jail in Florida, where he is being held on suspicion of murder.
Police believe Santiago flew into Fort Lauderdale with a gun in his checked bag from Anchorage, Alaska on a Delta flight. After picking the luggage up at baggage claim, he allegedly went into the bathroom, loaded the gun and then came out and opened fire, according to reports.
A motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but the FBI investigators said they have not ruled out terrorism for the attack.