This is a developing story.
At least five people were killed and eight wounded in a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport early Friday afternoon. The number of fatalities could potentially rise. Federal law enforcement officials confirmed that they were on the scene and had a lone suspect alive and in custody.
The shooting occurred in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area, which is considered a “soft target” – a relatively vulnerable, low-security area. The discussion surrounding how to better protect soft targets has increased in recent months following terrorist attacks at other soft targets in airports, such as the Brussels attack in March, which targeted the front ticketing area of the city’s airport.
Officials have yet to declare what the motivation for the shooting is. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) told reporters from MSNBC and said that the shooter is allegedly named Esteban Santiago, and carried a military ID as well as a handgun.
Ari Fleischer, a former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush at the time of 9/11, tweeted that he had been at the airport at the time of the shooting. “Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” he tweeted, before issuing another update: “All seems calm now but the police aren’t letting anyone out of the airport – at least not the area where I am.”
Flights have not been redirected from the airport thus far – planes are still landing and taking off from other terminals – but airports such as LAX and Miami have increased security, according to ABC’s David Kerley.
Unconfirmed reports of additional shots allegedly fired in other parts of the terminal have been reported. Muslim Girl will keep you updated.