MIAMI — A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted an Alaska resident accused of going on a shooting rampage at a Florida airport this month, leaving five people dead and six others wounded.
The 22-count indictment charged the man, Esteban Santiago, 26, with 11 counts of causing death or bodily harm at an international airport, five counts of causing death during a crime of violence and six counts of using a firearm during a crime. Mr. Santiago could face the death penalty if convicted in the shooting, which occurred on Jan. 6 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
None of the charges are terrorism-related, despite Mr. Santiago’s assertion to the F.B.I. after the shooting that he was inspired by videos and chat rooms affiliated with the Islamic State extremist group. The F.B.I. has said that Mr. Santiago also claimed to investigators that he was the victim of government mind control.
Mr. Santiago, an Iraq war veteran who lived in Anchorage, is scheduled to enter a plea on Monday and is being held without bail.
The indictment gave no new details about the shooting, but laid out the legal framework of the charges against Mr. Santiago, as well as the names of each person who died.
“They have made the necessary allegations to seek the death penalty,” said David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice.
The Justice Department has not indicated whether it will seek the death penalty.
Investigators said Mr. Santiago legally traveled with a box containing his weapon and ammunition as part of his checked luggage on a flight from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale. After retrieving his luggage after the flight, investigators added, Mr. Santiago loaded his handgun in an airport bathroom and came out firing.
Exhausting his ammunition after firing 15 shots, the authorities said, Mr. Santiago laid down on the floor and was arrested. An F.B.I. agent testified at a recent bond hearing that Mr. Santiago had confessed to the shooting.Read More...
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