Five people were killed and six injured when a gunman carried out a shooting at the baggage claim area in Terminal Two of Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport in Miami, Florida, US on 6 January. Esteban Santiago, the suspect accused of the shooting, was charged by prosecutors on 8 January of carrying out an act of violence in an international airport resulting in death, as well as lesser weapons charges. US attorney Wifredo Ferrer said: “[The] charges represent the gravity of the situation and reflect the commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to continually protect the community and prosecute those who target our residents and visitors.”
It is believed that Santiago used a semi-automatic handgun that he legally checked into his baggage on a flight from Alaska. Upon collecting his luggage, he used the gun at the baggage claim area.
Airport officials are tasked with sorting through over 20,000 items of luggage and personal possessions of travellers, after the area was evacuated during and after the shooting. Personal identification documents, phones and handbags are among the items that were lost during the incident. People who were going through airport security ran from the sound of shots being fired without their shoes, passports and wallets. The Florida Highway Patrol sent buses equipped with computers to the airport to help issue temporary IDs to travellers in order to expedite their travel arrangements, and Florida Governor Rick Scott said that cruise companies had been asked to accept travellers using provisional IDs. Around 12,000 incoming and outgoing travellers were affected by the airport security shutting down the terminal.