Five people were killed in a mass shooting in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Friday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff’s office has confirmed.
Eight people have been transported to the hospital from the aiport, the Broward Sheriff’s office said. The suspected attacker was shot by police and has been taken into custody.
Authorities do not believe there was more than one shooter, but Terminal 1 was being evacuated around 2:30 p.m. EST and people could be seen running across the tarmac. It was unclear if there was another incident unfolding, but a witness told CNN that police told passengers to “run.”
An active scene was playing out across from the airport’s parking garage as of 2:40 p.m. EST. Travellers could be seen hiding behind cars with police.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson identified the suspected shooter as 26-year-old Esteben Santiago. Santiago was carrying a military ID, Nelson told MSNBC.
The airport tweeted that all services at the airport have temporarily been suspended.
“Communications received a call around 12:55 p.m. about shots fired at 100 Terminal Drive at Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood Int’l Airport,” the Broward Sheriff’s office tweeted.
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was at the airport when the shooting occurred.
Video released from inside the baggage claim area appears to show the aftermath of the shooting. A witness told MSNBC that the gunman appeared to be randomly shooting people as they waited for their bags.
He was silent as he opened fire with a handgun, and had time to reload as he shot people in the head, the witness said. After he ran out of ammo, the gunman “threw down his gun and laid on the ground spread eagle,” witness Mark Lea told NBC.
A witness to the shooting shared a graphic photo on Twitter that showed a man bleeding on the lower level of the airport.
Aeroplane passengers were being evacuated onto the tarmac. Fort Lauderdale police were on the scene, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sent agents to investigate the shooting.
Florida governor Rick Scott is reportedly on his way to the airport to be briefed on the attack. Scott’s office issued a statement saying that state law enforcement do not have confirmed information on the number of casualties or the shooter’s motive.
President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that he is “monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!”
Federal agents say 3 people dead, several others injured at Ft. Laud-Hollywood airport. Photo shows portion of scene in Terminal 2 @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/NUdOC9rmc4
— Marissa Bagg (@MarissaNBC6) January 6, 2017
The Federal Aviation Authority has issued a ground stop for all flights at Fort Lauderdale airport, which is one of the country’s busiest transport hubs. The airport is located in South Florida’s Broward County, about 30 miles north of Miami.
This story is developing.
I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 6, 2017