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Fort Lauderdale Mass Shooting

Haley VanderHaar

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On Friday (1/6/17),  chaos ensued as a mass shooting occurred at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The shooting left five people dead and six others wounded. Families left devastated.

Esteban Santiago, Iraq War veteran, age 26, had confessed to the execution of the mass shooting. Santiago now possibly faces the death sentence. Santiago’s family members claimed that upon his return from Iraq, he came back a “changed man.” Interviews with friends and family have shown that Santiago had displayed erratic behavior and claimed he had “visions” frequently. A few months earlier, Santiago arrived at the Anchorage, Alaska FBI office and claimed his mind was being controlled by the government. Anchorage police said, “he was having terroristic thoughts and believed he was influenced by ISIS.” Authorities then confiscated Santiago’s gun and conducted a mental health evaluation; Santiago was found to lack any mental defects and then was given back his gun. This same gun was used in Friday’s shooting. Santiago claimed to have been in contact with ISIS online.

Authorities are still investigating why Santiago targeted Fort Lauderdale. It was a time of terror as those nearby watched innocent passengers suddenly become victims in a matter of seconds. Santiago shot and killed men and women of various ages that day. He now faces life in prison or the death penalty.

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Fort Lauderdale Mass Shooting