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Ft. Lauderdale shooting defendant had little criminal history

Travelers and airport employees were evacuated from the terminal after the airport shooting in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, USA, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity – RTX2XT74

Estaban Santiago, the 26-year-old airline passenger accused of shooting at a baggage claim area on the Foot. Lauderdale-Hollywood airport, leaving five dead and eight wounded, a series of recent run-ins with the law.

Almost exactly a year ago, he was charged with fourth-degree assault and property damage in Anchorage, Alaska, where he lived from 2014 to 2016. One of the charges was dismissed by the local prosecutor’s office two months later, according to the records found by Foxnews.com.

Details about the incident were not immediately clear, but authorities in Anchorage told the Daily Beast was in relation to domestic violence. The case was resolved after Santiago agreed to a agreement of dpa. The indictment was dropped by the prosecutor in exchange for the completion of requirements.

Other records show that Santiago was evicted from his apartment in February 2015 for non-payment of $435 to rent. Santiago also has a record for minor traffic violations, such as driving with a broken tail light and another incident where he was found driving without insurance.


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Law enforcement walk out of a terminal after a gunman opened fire on a baggage carousel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, united states, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Zachary Fagenson – RTX2XTJ5

His brother said that he had received psychological treatment recently, according to the Associated Press.

Santiago was born in New Jersey and his family was originally from Puerto Rico, where he served in the Puerto Rico National Guard. He was in the Army Reserves before serving in the Alaska Army National Guard. According to reports, he was honorably discharged four months since his last post in Fort Greely, Arkansas, and his military rank at that time was the E3 (Private First Class). He also has a concealed carry permit and had checked in his weapon prior to boarding.

Santiago’s aunt, who lives in Hudson County, New Jersey, spoke
with reporters of the local newspaper, The record of North Jersey on Friday night.

“I don’t know why this has happened,” Maria Ruiz said
reporters at her home in Union City as FBI agents arrived. The distraught relative said that Santiago had served two years in Iraq and it started to act strangely when he returned.

He was also a father in the past year, and she told reporters that he was pleased with the child.”

It was early Friday afternoon when the chaos first broke out in Fort Lauderdale airport. Five people were shot after Santiago allegedly opened fire on a baggage claim area in Terminal Two. Witnesses and investigators said that the suspect shot some of his victims in the head without saying a word.

In the ensuing panic, the TSA received two separate unconfirmed reports of a separate active shooter, a law enforcement official close to the investigation told Fox News. However, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Friday afternoon there was no indication of additional shots were fired.

Broward County Commissioner Chip La Marca posted on Facebook that Santiago was a “passenger on a Canadian flight, with a checked gun. He claimed his bag and took the gun from luggage and went to the bathroom to charge it. Came the pictures of people in the baggage claim. There were 13 total shot, 5 dead, 8 transported to the hospital.”

Witnesses at the scene told Fox News that the shooter was a slender man with dark hair, probably in his 30s and wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. It is believed that he boarded a plane in Anchorage last night and flew immediately to Fort Lauderdale.

Santiago was taken into custody without incident and was unharmed. Law enforcement never fired any shots are fired, Israel said. “This scene is regarded as a liquid and active.” The sheriff said it was not clear why he chose to open fire.

“It was very unreal,” John Schlicher, a witness told Fox News. “He said not a word.

“He was photographing the people that are down on the ground.”

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