Federal Charges Filed Against Estaban Santiago
FT. LAUDERDALE – The suspected killer in the Ft. Lauderdale airport rampage, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, was charged on Saturday with performing an act of violence at an airport, which could earn him the death penalty if he is convicted, reported Fox News.
The charges were filed by federal prosecutors, and include violations related to firearms in Broward County, Florida.
Police in Alaska confirmed they returned a handgun to Santiago, which was temporarily seized when he underwent mental evaluation late last year, according to a Reuters report. Anchorage Police Chief Christopher Tolley said it was not clear if it was the same weapon used in Friday’s bloody rampage. The gun was returned since he had not committed a crime that would prohibit legal possession.
It was still unclear why Santiago flew to Florida, although he apparently has relatives that reside two hours away in the Naples area, according to the Sun Sentinel.
FBI investigators questioned Santiago for hours. Special Agent in Charge George Piro said investigators were scouring the 26-year-old suspect’s social media footprint and looking into where he’d traveled before.
The FBI confirmed that Santiago was not on a no-fly list. He is accused of carrying out the attack with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun according to Piro.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said six people were wounded in the attack, not eight, as officials reported Friday. Three were in the intensive care unit and three were in good condition, Israel told reporters.
The man accused of shooting 11 people, killing five, reportedly had a history of mental health problems according to his relatives. But the diagnosis and treatment remain unknown.