- Title: Suspect chose Florida airport for deadly rampage - FBI
- Date: 7th January 2017
- Summary: FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 7, 2017) (REUTERS) RICK SCOTT, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA WALKING WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, GEORGE PIRO, SAYING: "We are conducting interviews and investigative leads in numerous locations, not only here in south Florida, but really throughout several other locations in the United States. We have conducted roughly 175 witness interviews, we have recovered video, physical evidence and we continue to pursue every investigative lead. We have not ruled out anything, we continue to look at all avenues and all motives for this horrific attack, and at this point, we are continuing to look at the terrorism angle in regards to the potential motivation behind this attack." PIRO LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, GEORGE PIRO, SAYING: "Was there an altercation on one leg of this flight? We have not identified an altercation, either on the flight or baggage claim, but then again it is very early in the investigation." PIRO LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, GEORGE PIRO, SAYING: "Indications are that he came here to carry out this horrific attack, we have not identified any triggers that would have caused this attack, but again it is very early in the investigation." PIRO LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, GEORGE PIRO, SAYING: "The suspect did cooperate with the interview team, which was a joint, combined FBI Broward's Sheriff's office. The interview went over several hours and concluded sometime this morning at which point he was transported to the Broward County jail and booked on federal charges." WHITE FLASH BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF, SCOTT ISRAEL, LISTENING TO REPORTER QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF, SCOTT ISRAEL, SAYING: "How long did it take our deputy to come in contact with Santiago, that was approximately 70 to 80 seconds." WHITE FLASH SCOTT, PIRO AND ISRAEL WALKING AWAY WIDE VIEW OF AIRCRAFT AT GATE AIRCRAFT AND WORKERS ON TARMAC ALASKA AIR AIRCRAFT VARIOUS OF CHECKED LUGGAGE ON TRANSPORT VEHICLE
- Embargoed: 22nd January 2017 17:32
- Keywords: Esteban Santiago shooting travelers wounded killed military
- Location: FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORDIA, UNITED STATES
- City: FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORDIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y2Z0P3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES
The Iraq war veteran accused of killing five people at Fort Lauderdale airport apparently chose to travel to Florida to carry out the rampage, and there are no signs any altercation came before the attack, authorities said on Saturday (January 7).
The 26-year-old suspect, Esteban Santiago, had a history of acting erratically and investigators are probing whether mental illness played a role in America's latest mass shooting.
Santiago cooperated with investigators during an interview that lasted several hours overnight, George Piro, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's office in Miami, said on Saturday.
"Indications are that he came here to carry out this horrific attack," Piro told reporters at the airport.
Federal charges against Santiago are due to be announced later on Saturday.
Five people were killed and eight wounded in the attack, while some three dozen were taken to local hospitals with bruises or broken bones suffered in the chaos as passengers fled.
The gunman was taken into custody by police.
Piro said investigators have not ruled out terrorism as a reason for the attack and were reviewing the suspect's recent travel.
Authorities say Santiago arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on a connecting flight from Alaska, and that he retrieved a 9mm semi-automatic handgun from his checked luggage then loaded it in a bathroom before emerging and shooting indiscriminately.
Witnesses said the gunman, who was wearing a "Star Wars" T-shirt, said nothing as he fired, and that he surrendered to police only after running out of ammunition.
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