Who is Esteban Santiago?

- A gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday, killing five people and wounding eight.

Law enforcement authorities have not publicly named a suspect in custody, but U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., identified the gunman as Esteban Santiago. Nelson said Santiago was carrying a military ID. The Palm Beach Post reported that the Army National Guard discharged Santiago four months ago.

Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca wrote on Facebook that the suspect flew into the airport with a gun in his checked luggage, loaded his gun in the bathroom, and then started shooting in the baggage claim area.

Santiago's brother told the AP that Esteban, 26, had received psychological treatment while living in Alaska. Bryan Santiago said Esteban Santiago was born in New Jersey but grew up in Puerto Rico from age 2.

Esteban Santiago served in the Puerto Rico Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2010 for a year. He served with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla, according to Maj. Paul Dahlen, a Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman.

He then served in the Army Reserve before joining the Alaska Army National Guard in 2014. He went AWOL several times, so the National Guard demoted him from specialist to private first class and gave him a general discharge for poor performance.

He had a series of recent encounters with law enforcement. A year ago, police charged him with fourth-degree assault and damage of property in Anchorage, where he lived from 2014 to 2016, according to records found by FoxNews.com. The local prosecutor dismissed one charge two months later.

In November, Santiago visited the FBI Anchorage field office and told agents that government intelligence was forcing him to watch ISIS videos, law enforcement sources told Fox News. The FBI called local police who took custody of him and brought him to a hospital for a welfare check. It is not clear what happened after that.

With the Assocated Press and Fox News

From the Alaska National Guard

-Santiago joined the Puerto Rico National Guard December 14, 2007

-Deployed to Iraq with Puerto Rico National Guard April 23, 2010 to February 19, 2011

-Was in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard November 21, 2014

-Received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard August 16, 2016 for unsatisfactory performance

-He was a combat engineer (MOS: 21B10)


-Upon discharge, his military rank was E3 (Private First Class)

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories