The suspected gunman who shot and killed five people at a Florida airport with a weapon collected from his checked baggage was reportedly an Iraq war veteran known to the US authorities.
Eight other people were injured in the shooting, after which a suspect identified in reports as Esteban Santiago, 26, was taken into custody without any further shots being fired.
The Broward county sheriff Scott Israel said the suspect was unharmed after his arrest. “No law enforcement fired shots. He is being interviewed by FBI agents and the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Asked about any possible terror motives, Israel said: “It’s too early to say either way.”
If you listened to the news reports yesterday you probably heard that this young man flew from Anchorage to Florida where he apparently decided to start killing.
He only lived up here for two years during which time he worked as a security guard, after being discharged from the Alaska National Guard for "unsatisfactory performance." (He also served 10 months in Iraq.)
At one point he walked into an Anchorage FBI office to complain that the CIA was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch Islamic videos. They then called police who took him for a psych eval.
Apparently they did not believe he posed a danger to himself or others, and he was released.
In Florida Santiago retrieved his gun from his checked baggage, loaded the weapon, and without a word of warning started firing. He killed five and wounded eight others.
Santiago continued firing until he ran out of ammunition, after which he put down his weapon and laid spread eagle on the floor until the authorities arrived to arrest him. He was unharmed.
There seems to be a lot of blame to go around here.
Exposure to war, lax guns laws, ineffective mental health evaluations, poor security at airports, you name it.
However the main point is that this was a crime perpetrated with a gun. And without that gun the number of dead and wounded would be greatly reduced, or completely nonexistent.
We live in a society where guns are seen to be as American as apple pie.
But nobody slaughters five people with a wedge of apple pie.
I'm just saying.