Mass Shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport

By Chris Ariens 

Among the hundreds of people at the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport, scene of a mass shooting this afternoon, was Ari Fleischer, who is often a guest on cable TV news and is a former White House press secretary for Pres. George W. Bush.

NBC, ABC, CBS produced several network special reports while MSNBC, which was first with the news at 1:10pmET, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, HLN and CBSN all are in continuing coverage. Early reports vary, that anywhere from 5 to 13 people have been shot, and as many as three people killed. (Updated to five killed, 13 being transported.) The shooter is in custody. While the shooting appears to have happened in the baggage claim area of terminal 2, hundreds of passengers made their way to the tarmac.


The suspect has been identified by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson as Esteban Santiago. “We don’t know a motive at this point,” Nelson said, adding that Santiago finished three magazines, “and then just sat down.”

A guest on Fox News, who witnessed the shooting, contradicted Sen. Nelson saying Santiago didn’t just sit down, but that he did when police ordered him to.

Another scare occurred a short time ago, as police continued to sweep the airport, and shots were heard fired in a parking garage. “The sheriff’s standing over me with his gun,” said eyewitness John Schlicher to Shepard Smith live on Fox News. “I’m going to have to go.”

2:33 p.m.: The TSA confirms another active shooter report at the Ft. Lauderdale airport:

3:13 p.m. Broward Co. Mayor Barbara Sharief said on MSNBC that the incident at the parking garage area was based on something a witness heard and that there is no confirmation of an active shooter situation.

Kerry Sanders on MSNBC reports, according to a Broward Co. commissioner, Santiago “was a passenger on a Canadian flight with a checked gun. He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it, came out and started shooting people in baggage claim.”

3:27 p.m. News conference from Broward Sheriff Scott Israel: FBI is investigating suspect, who was not hurt. “There were no shots fired by law enforcement.”

ABC News reports the suspect was coming from Alaska, not Canada: