FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal law enforcement officials said they were investigating whether the gunman who opened fire on Friday at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., killing five people and wounding eight, was mentally disturbed and heard voices in his head telling him to commit acts of violence.
According to a senior law enforcement official, the gunman, identified as Esteban Santiago, 26, walked into the F.B.I. office in Anchorage in November and made disturbing remarks that prompted officials to urge him to seek mental health care.
Mr. Santiago, appearing “agitated and incoherent,” said “that his mind was being controlled by a U.S. intelligence agency,” the official said.
Other officials said it was too early to tell whether Mr. Santiago, who was captured in the airport, had been inspired by terrorist groups, including the Islamic State. The officials said he had viewed extremist materials on the internet.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, the gunman, who had been an airline passenger, pulled a weapon out of his bag and opened fire in a crowded baggage claim area in Terminal 2, officials said.
The shooting spurred a scene of panic and confusion that played out on live television as scores of travelers burst out of the terminal and onto the tarmac, running and seeking cover, at times in response to erroneous rumors of follow-up attacks.
David Fogarty, a carpenter from Key West, was heading to Cancún, Mexico, on vacation when the people around him suddenly began running toward the gates.
“Everybody was dropping gear, panicking, jumping over tables,” Mr. Fogarty said in a phone interview. “We were saying: What is going on? Are there people shooting? I am not hearing any gunshots, and the whole place is panicking.”Read More...
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