A MN Connection to the Ft. Lauderdale Shooter

Photo credit: MSP Airport

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The lone shooter who killed five at the Fort Lauderdale Airport had a brief layover at Minneapolis-St. Paul International earlier that morning to switch planes from his home in Anchorage, Alaska.

Esteban Santiago, 26, flew in on Delta Flight 1088 from Alaska and landed in Minneapolis-St. Paul at 6:02AM. He checked the gun he would use in his mass shooting in Florida with airport officials before departing on Delta Flight 2182 to Fort Lauderdale at 7:25AM.

Esteban Santiago Photo credit: CNN
Esteban Santiago
Photo credit: CNN

He was a member of the Puerto Rico and Alaska National Guards. He served a tour in Iraq in 2010.

FBI agents let Santiago go in November after he walked into their Alaska office and “claimed he was being forced to fight for ISIS.”

Photos online show Santiago posing with ISIS hand signals while in traditional middle eastern clothing.

When he landed in Fort Lauderdale, reports say Santiago picked up his bag from baggage claim and pulled out his gun from his luggage, killing 5 people and wounding 8 more.

FBI Special Agent George Piros announced that Santiago would face charges that would be announced at a later date. The FBI has not ruled out a terrorism charge.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.