The latest on the Fort Lauderdale shooting
(KMSP) - Around 9 p.m. Saturday, the first Delta flight from Fort Lauderdale to MSP since the attack touched down at the airport. The flight was delayed almost two hours, and an earlier flight was canceled.
The suspect, Esteban Santiago, flew through Minnesota on his way to Fort Lauderdale. Authorities said he traveled there for the sole purpose of carrying out the attack.
"Just point and shoot no rhyme or reason why he shot or who he shot ran out of ammunition,” witness Mark Lea said.
Witnesses described the terrifying moments when a man started shooting in the baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
A criminal complaint filed Saturday evening says Santiago fired 10 to 15 rounds from his handgun aiming at his victims' heads. Many Minnesotans were also at the airport and had to run for cover.
Officers were able to take Santiago into custody and said he was cooperating with the investigation.
"Indications are that he came here to carry out this horrific attack. We have not identified any triggers that would have caused. But again it's very early in the investigation," FBI Special Agent George Piro said.
Family members reported Santiago was suffering from mental health issues and may have been impacted by his time in Iraq as a member of Puerto Rico National Guard.
"He said he was hearing these voices. That the government of the United States wanted to tie him up with certain groups so that he would be part of ISIS. He was very paranoid," the suspect’s cousin Bryan Santiago said.
Authorities in Alaska took Santiago to get a mental health evaluation, but returned a firearm to him because he was not judged to be mentally ill. They would not confirm whether it was the same weapon used in the attack.
According to the complaint, Santiago told investigators he purchased a one way ticket from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale with a stop in Minneapolis.
An MSP airport spokesperson told Fox 9 extra officers were deployed after the Fort Lauderdale incident with a focus on areas like the baggage claim.
The spokesperson said security is on top of added measures that began about six months ago on so-called non-secured areas of the airport like ticketing and baggage claim.
Santiago has been federally charged with act of violence at an international airport resulting in death. If he’s found guilty, could face the death penalty.