Airport Gunman May Have Originally Targeted New York

Esteban Santiago reserved a ticket to arrive in New York on New Year's Eve but — for reasons unknown — canceled it, authorities said.
2:31 | 01/09/17

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Transcript for Airport Gunman May Have Originally Targeted New York
We have new reporting this evening after the terror that played out inside the ft. Lauderdale airport on Friday. Authorities telling ABC news the suspect's original plan was to arrive in New York City on new year's eve. TMZ obtaining this video inside terminal 2 showing the gunman pulling out his weapon and fire. The passengers hiding behind carts there, and others simply frozen in place. But tonight, was Florida his original destination, and was he influenced by ISIS? Here's our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross. Reporter: As Esteban Santiago made his first appearance in court today, authorities told ABC news that his initial intended target may not have been ft. Lauderdale, but new York. That he had made a reservation to fly into New York City on new year's eve but then, for an unknown reason, canceled it. Instead Santiago booked a $278 one way ticket to fort Lauderdale. Where, as this video obtained by TMZ shows, he unleashed 34 seconds of terror. Pulling his gun out of his waistband and opening fire. As he continues out of view, pan ached passengers, many of them elderly, ran for cover, hiding behind baggage carts. Police say Santiago emptied his 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun and then reloaded to keep shooting. Five people were killed, six more wounded, in a scene of carnage that friends and family today say could have been prevented. He was having some mental problems, and he wasn't feeling right. Reporter: His former girlfriend, Michelle Quinones says Santiago became unhinged after a deployment to Iraq in 2010 where he said two friends in his National Guard unit were killed. But she says he couldn't get help from the veterans' hospital in Puerto Rico. And they did nothing. They didn't do anything. Reporter: And Santiago's life in Anchorage, Alaska was falling apart. Court records show he was arrested for trying to strangle his girlfriend, but instead of jail was sent to anger management courses. In November, Santiago went to the Anchorage FBI office to say he was hearing voices. About ISIS, but after being briefly hospitalized for a mental examination, agents returned his handgun, saying they found no connection to terrorism. What they should be asking is, does this person I'm interested in present a risk of committing an act of violence. Reporter: This 21-year-old they recovered from a pawnshop in Alaska, and they are determine if his claims that he was in touch with ISIS is a fact or another one of his delusions, David. Brian, thank you. Next tonight, just 11 days

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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