While investigators try to figure out a ground of an Iraq fight maestro indicted of murdering 5 travelers and wounding 6 others during a bustling general airfield in Florida, a suspected gunman was charged and could face a death penalty if convicted.
Esteban Santiago, 26, was charged with an act of assault during an general airfield ensuing in genocide — that carries a limit punishment of execution — and weapons charges.
Santiago told investigators that he designed a attack, shopping a one-way sheet to a Fort Lauderdale airport, a sovereign censure said. Authorities don’t know since he chose his aim and have not ruled out terrorism.
“Today’s charges paint a sobriety of a conditions and simulate a joining of federal, state and internal law coercion crew to ceaselessly strengthen a village and prosecute those who aim a residents and visitors,” U.S Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said.
Authorities pronounced during a news discussion that they had interviewed roughly 175 people, including a extensive inquire with a mild Santiago, who is a former National Guard infantryman from Alaska. Flights had resumed during a Fort Lauderdale airfield after a bloodshed, yet a depot where a sharpened happened remained closed.
FBI Agent George Piro pronounced Santiago spoke to investigators for several hours after he non-stop glow with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that he appears to have legally checked on a moody from Alaska.
“Indications are that he came here to lift out this horrific attack,” Piro said. “We have not identified any triggers that would have caused this attack. We’re posterior all angles on what stirred him to lift out this horrific attack.”
Investigators are combing by amicable media and other information to settle Santiago’s motive, and it’s too early to contend either terrorism played a role, Piro said. In November, Santiago had walked into an FBI margin bureau in Alaska observant a U.S. supervision was determining his mind and forcing him to watch Islamic State organisation videos, authorities said.
“He was a walk-in complaint. This is something that happens during FBI offices around a nation each day,” FBI representative Marlin Ritzman said.
Santiago had a installed repository on him, though had left a gun in his vehicle, along with his baby child, authorities said. Officers seized a arms and internal officers took him to get a mental health evaluation. His partner picked adult a child.
On Dec. 8, a gun was returned to Santiago. Authorities wouldn’t contend if it was a same gun used in a airfield attack.
U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler pronounced Santiago would have been means to legally possess a gun since he had not been judged mentally ill, that is a aloft customary than carrying an evaluation.
Santiago had not been placed on a U.S. no-fly list and appears to have acted alone, authorities said.
The conflict sent panicked witnesses using out of a depot and spilling onto a tarmac, enclosure in hand. Others hid in lavatory stalls or crouched behind cars or anything else they could find as military and paramedics rushed in to assistance a bleeding and settle either there were any other gunmen.
Mark Lea, 53, had usually flown in from Minnesota with his mom for a journey when he listened 3 discerning cracks, like a firecracker. Then came some-more cracks, and “I knew it was some-more than usually a firecracker,” he said.
Making certain his mom was outside, Lea helped leave some comparison women who had fallen, he said. Then he saw a shooter.
“He was usually kind of incidentally sharpened people,” he said. “If we were in his path, we were going to get shot. He was walking and shooting.”
Over a march of about 45 seconds, a shooter reloaded twice, he said. When he was out of bullets, he walked away, forsaken a gun and lay face down, widespread eagle on a floor, Lea said.
By that time, a emissary had arrived and grabbed a shooter. Lea put his feet on a gun to secure it.
Lea went to assistance a harmed and a lady from Iowa asked about her husband, who she described. Lea saw a male who fit his outline behind a quarrel of chairs, motionless, shot in a conduct and fibbing in a pool of blood, he said. The man, Michael Oehme, was identified as one of a passed victims on Saturday.
Santiago had been liberated from a National Guard final year after being demoted for unsuitable performance. Bryan Santiago pronounced Saturday that his hermit had requested psychological assistance though perceived small assistance. Esteban Santiago pronounced in Aug that he was conference voices.
“How is it probable that a sovereign supervision knows, they hospitalize him for usually 4 days, and afterwards give him his arms back?” Bryan Santiago said.
His mom declined to criticism as she stood inside a shade doorway of a family home in Puerto Rico, wiping tears from her eyes. The usually thing she pronounced was that Esteban Santiago had been tremendously influenced by saying a explosve raze subsequent to dual of his friends when he was around 18 years aged while portion in Iraq.
Santiago, who is in sovereign control with no bail, will face sovereign charges and is approaching to seem in justice Monday, Piro said.
It is authorised for airline passengers to transport with guns and ammunition as prolonged as a firearms are put in a checked bag — not a carry-on — and are unloaded and sealed in a hard-sided container. Guns contingency be announced to a airline during check-in.
Santiago arrived in Fort Lauderdale after holding off from Anchorage aboard a Delta moody Thursday night, checking usually one square of luggage — his gun, pronounced Jesse Davis, military arch during a Anchorage airport.
Associated Press writers Curt Anderson in Miami; Tamara Lush in Pembroke Pines, Florida; Lolita C. Baldor and Eric Tucker in Washington; Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska; David Koenig in Dallas; and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.
Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org