FORT LAUDERDALE — A video of last week’s shooting incident at the Fort Lauderdale airport that left five dead and eight more wounded was released online Sunday.
The shooter, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, can be seen in the security video casually drawing a 9mm handgun and opening fire in the Terminal 2 baggage claim, as nearby travelers react with shock and surprise.
Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, disappeared off-camera mere moments after firing the first shots.
A new addition to an already grim and unsettling story, the video confirms witness accounts of Santiago’s cool composure as he went about his grisly business, generating panic and widespread hysteria in the terminal that would not subside until Santiago was finally taken into custody.
It’s still unclear whether Santiago was motivated by a cause-based agenda of terrorism or a simple mental health deficiency. His past is a checkered one, with a less than honorable discharge from the military on his record, not to mention troubles with law enforcement, which include an arrest for domestic violence and numerous minor infractions.
“Something happened in his life, and it sparked violent behavior and mass murder,” opined Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, whose investigations have left him still unable to ascribe motive to the shooting.
Whatever combination of factors ultimately prompted the lethal attack, though, the surveillance video shows us that it was carried out by a man—unprovoked, and at ease with deadly force—acting calmly and with chilling purpose.