The Latest: US seeks death penalty in airport shooting

Photo: Esteban Santiago
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on Airport Shooting-Florida (all times local):
6:25 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the Florida airport shooting suspect that could bring the death penalty if he is convicted.

A criminal complaint filed Saturday by the Miami U.S. attorney's office accuses 26-year-old Esteban Santiago of an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death. The punishment is execution or any prison sentence up to life.

Prosecutors also charged Santiago with two firearms offenses.

Santiago is accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others Friday at a Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport baggage claim. The FBI says Santiago traveled from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the shooting.

Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, is being held without bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.
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11 a.m.

Law enforcement officials say the gunman in a deadly Florida airport shooting had a semi-automatic handgun, and they expect to release charges against him this afternoon.

Authorities say Army veteran Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, killed five and wounded six Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

At a news conference Saturday, a day after the attack, the FBI said it had interviewed the suspect's family.

Local and federal officials also said at the news conference that they believe he came to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out the attack, though they had not uncovered any triggers for it in their investigation. They say they still believe the shooter acted alone and that they have several critical leads.

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10:50 a.m.

Law enforcement says there are six people recovering from gunshot wounds after the shooting at a Florida airport, decreasing that total from the number of eight given previously.

Sheriff Scott Israel gave the new information at a news conference Saturday, one day after the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport.

He says three are in good condition, and three are in intensive care.

Five people were killed in the shooting.

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8 a.m.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has reopened following the terminal shooting that left five people dead and eight wounded.

Officials said on Twitter the airport reopened for commercial flights at 5 a.m. Saturday, although many flights are canceled or delayed. Local media reported long lines of passengers were forming outside terminals.

Terminal 2 remained closed Saturday morning. That's where police say 26-year-old Esteban Santiago allegedly opened fire in a baggage claim area after retrieving a handgun from his checked luggage. Santiago remained jailed pending official charges.

The FBI and sheriff's office planned a news conference later Saturday morning.

Airport officials also say they are trying to match more than 20,000 bags and personal items with their owners. Authorities say it is a complex and time-consuming process.

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2:30 a.m.

The gunman who fatally shot five people and wounded eight others in Fort Lauderdale's airport sent panicked passengers running out of the terminal and onto the tarmac with bags in hand.

Authorities say Army veteran Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, had complained that the government was controlling his mind drew a gun from his checked luggage on arrival and opened fire on fellow travelers.

FBI agent George Piro says authorities are looking at leads in several states and have not ruled out terrorism.

The airport was shut down, with incoming flights diverted and outgoing flights held on the ground. Airport Director Mark Gale said it will try to reopen at 5 a.m. Saturday but urged travelers to check with their individual airlines on flight status