Sheriff: 5 Dead After Chaotic Shooting Incident At Fort Lauderdale Airport

January 6, 2017 1:20 p.m.

Updated 5:32 p.m. ET

A gunman was taken in custody Friday afternoon after opening fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, leaving five people dead and at least eight people wounded.

The incident kicked off hours of chaos and confusion at the Miami-area hub. Just when the scene appeared to be stabilizing, nearly two hours after authorities first received reports of shots fired at the airport’s Terminal 2, local broadcast affiliates showed police and passengers suddenly run across the tarmac in an apparent response to a second, unconfirmed report of shots fired in Terminal 1.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel later clarified in a news conference that there had only been one shooting incident in Terminal 2. He cautioned in response to a question that it was “too early to say” whether the shooting had been connected to terrorism.

People run on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport.

Israel told reporters that the scene was still being considered “active and fluid” and confirmed that one suspect had been taken into custody unharmed.

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The sheriff did not reveal any details about the suspect in custody. But Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), speaking to MSNBC, identified the shooter as Esteban Santiago, 26. Nelson said that Santiago had a military ID with him at the time of the shooting, according to MSNBC.

Israel told reporters there was no confirmation of any other shots fired after the incident in Terminal 2, which took place just before 1 p.m. ET.

“It seems like someone got injured evacuating,” Israel said. “Nothing to do with any type of gunshot or anything like that.”

People take cover behind vehicles at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport.

The sheriff’s office had confirmed on its Twitter account that five people had died and eight people were injured in the shooting. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief later told MSNBC that thirteen people had been injured.

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer had tweeted from the scene as news of the shooting first broke:

President-elect Donald Trump later tweeted that he was monitoring the unfolding situation:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said in a press conference that he’d spoken about the shooting several times with Trump and Vice-President elect Mike Pence, but added neither he nor President Barack Obama had reached out to each other.

“The state of Florida, law enforcement in this state will not tolerate evil acts,” Scott said. “Whoever’s responsible will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”

Fort Lauderdale International Airport director Mark Gale told reporters that he was not sure when the airport would reopen.

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