Transcript for Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport Leaves 5 Dead, 8 Injured
Good evening. And we begin tonight with the horror that played out this afternoon inside the baggage claim at the ft. Lauderdale airport. Authorities say a passenger, an army vet, pulling out a gun and suddenly firing. Five people were killed. Several more rushed to the hospital. Passengers got out of the terminal, many running in fear, right onto the tarmac, hiding where they could, others, trapped on planes. And within minutes, a powerful show of force. The FBI, local law enforcement, sweeping across the airport. Frightened passengers were their hands in the air. Tonight, we have new reporting on the lone gunman, and the passengers still stuck on that tarmac. We begin with the moments right after the shooting. Tonight, the cries of the passengers and loved ones just moments after it was over. They were the ones who saw it all. The gunman in terminal two, walking into the baggage claim and opening fire. This woman describing what she saw. Casings were flying all around us. Reporter: One of the victims lying in a pool of blood. She was among the five who were killed. Other passengers and family members holding onto one another. Shots fired, downstairs. Lower level inside, we have a subject with a gunshot to the head. Reporter: It was 12:55 P.M., the first reports, the first calls to 911. Gunfire erupting. The shooter had loaded his gun, and was firing indiscriminately. Men, women, anyone in front of him. At least eight rushed to area hospitals. A father, Michael starobinsky, took this photo looking out the window of the terminal. A man who had just been shot brought outside. The blood-stained sidewalk. The woman holding up his arm. The father who took the photo. I heard a popping noise and somebody says, "Shots fired." I grabbed two of my children, ran outside. I'm looking at a man and a woman, a man bleeding profusely and a woman who just said, 'help, help!" Paramedics then rushing to his side and racing him out on a stretcher. The airport was put on lockdown, all exits blocked off. Some passengers stranded in planes on the tarmac with little information. What happened here right now, I don't know what just happened here at our terminal right now. Other planes rushing passengers off to safe Zones on the tarmac. And hundreds were evacuated from inside the terminal, down stairwells, taken outside, too. There were hundreds standing together. Many were sent to the perimeter of the airport, their hands in the air as authorities swept the scene. For a time, there were reports of more gunfire possible in another terminal or parking garage. S.W.A.T. Teams racing down to knock down those reports. Late today, saying they believe it was just one gunman, one scene. Still, terrified passengers racing across the tarmac. Taking cover behind cars. This photo captured by a witnesses as authorities appear to take the suspect away. Tonight, authorities believe the suspect just 26 years old. We were all waiting on the tarmac, a side door opened about 20 feet away, with two security guards holding a man, handcuffed. Like a skinny, light-skinned man with dark hair. They led him away, and then two minutes later, FBI agents. Reporter: Florida senator bill Nelson telling me on-air that the suspect was carrying a military I.D. It was found on him. His name is Esteban Santiago. Sources telling ABC news he arrived in ft. Lauderdale as a passenger, traveling from Anchorage, Alaska, through Minneapolis, then to ft. Lauderdale. Legally checking his unloaded gun and separate ammunition into his baggage. After getting off the plane, a Broward county commission her telling us, he went into a bath wro room where he loaded a bathroom and then began firing. Then, laying on the ground until police came and arrested him. We have five individuals who have lost their lives. We still have people fighting for their lives in our hospitals. Whoever is responsible will be held accountable to the full extent of the law. Florida's governor just a short time ago. I want to bring in Victor aquendo. And Victor, I understand there are still passengers out on that tarmac? Reporter: Hours later, David, and those passengers are still out there. So, right now, airport officials are doing everything they can to make them more comfortable. We're told they are bringing out water, some food, other supplies. Even some portable toil lets, just to make this day go by a little more smoothly, make it just a little more comfortable for them. Back where I am here, just about less than a mile away from the airport, what we've seen here is hundreds of passengers, some of them without their luggage, some carrying their luggage, others who have been trampled in this process, some now wearing shoes who have made their way, this long walk from the airport down this road, where they're now being picked up by either Ubers, buses or taxis. This long day still has not ended for so many people. Victor Oquendo tonight, thank you. And late today, while we were on the air, I spoke with united states eyewitnesses. We begin here with Diane Haggerty, working in the baggage claim where he then opened fire. I was behind the kiosk. I had a perfect picture of him coming and walking up and down, shooting the people. I mean, I just can't believe that that was possible. So, Diane, you were at a kiosk in what part of the airport? Were you in the baggage claim area? Yes, that's where he shot. In the baggage claim. He shot everybody. We heard the noise. We thought it was -- we thought it was firecrackers, wise kids were doing and then we looked down, because I knew where he came in, and we looked again and we saw him with the gun going up and down. Yeah. Everybody said, get out, get out. He did nothing but swing the gun and shoot. People started yelling and screaming and running towards any exit to get out of there. He had a .9 millimeter gun, went through a couple dozen rounds. He came through door two, he went towards the right, towards carousel two and three and started randomly shooting people. No rhyme, no reason. By the time he was done shooting, he was basically threw the gun down on the ground and was laying spread eagle, facedown on the ground before any officers were really much in the area whatsoever. That's the first time we've heard a description like that. He was down on the ground? Oh, yeah. He threw the gun on the ground and he laid on the ground facedown, spread eagle. The eye witnesses right there in the airport.
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