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Who is Florida airport shooting suspect Esteban Santiago?

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There's still a lot unknown about the suspected gunman who opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least five people and injuring eight others. 


Sen. Bill Nelson, (Fla.-R), citing the Transportation Security Administration, told Sinclair Broadcast Group that the suspect, Esteban Santiago, was carrying a  military ID. Ryan Brown, Nelson's communications director confirmed those details with Circa.


The alleged shooter, identified by NJ.com as Esteban Santiago-Ruiz, was born in New Jersey, lived in Alaska and Naples, Florida, and  was discharged from the National Guard four months ago. Santiago-Ruiz received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard last year for unsatisfactory performance of his duties. 


He had served as a member of the Puerto Rican National Guard for six years and served one-year overseas in combat in Iraq, according to family members who spoke with the media. 


Santiago was questioned by FBI and law enforcement, officials told reporters at a press conference hours after the shooting.  FBI officials reportedly arrived at the family's Union City apartment in New Jersey Friday afternoon to question Santiago's aunt and uncle about their nephew, reports NJ.com.

The family's Union City, N.J. street is blocked off Law enforcement officials told Circa the suspect had a declared firearm when he departed from an Alaskan Airlines flight and later removed it from his checked bags when he arrived in Fort Lauderdale Airport.

Associated Press later confirmed to media that Santiago was on a Delta flight from Anchorage to Minneapolis-St. Paul and on to Fort Lauderdale.

CNN reported that Santiago went to the bathroom in Terminal 2 baggage claim to retrieve his gun from his luggage and came out firing.


Santiago's aunt told NJ Advance Media that he once was hospitalized for mental health issues but appeared to be doing well and working a security job in recent months.

"He lost his mind," his aunt said in Spanish.

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WATCH | For more, check out the 60 Second Circa.

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