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Suspect In Custody After Airport Shooting In Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


We have more now on the shooting this afternoon at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport in south Florida. A gunman killed five people and injured several others before law enforcement took him into custody. Reporter Kate Stein of member station WLRN has been reporting today from the airport. And Kate, can you start by giving us the details of how this happened?

KATE STEIN, BYLINE: So what we've heard from Broward County sheriff's officers is that a gunman around - shortly before 1 o'clock Eastern this afternoon opened fire in Terminal 2 near the baggage claim. That individual was taken into custody pretty quickly by a Broward County sheriff's officer and without any harm to the gunman. We have, as you said, five people killed. Eight, it sounds like, are wounded. And it's been a pretty chaotic scene here this afternoon.

CORNISH: We know there have been some press conferences so far from the governor, from law enforcement. What more were they able to say?

STEIN: So the Broward County Sheriff's Office said basically all the things that I just mentioned to you. Governor Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, came in just about an hour ago now, and he condemned this as a senseless act of violence. He's very emphatic that he does not want this to happen again, especially in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting, anywhere in Florida.

CORNISH: Now, we know that you were able to get to the airport fairly soon after this happened. Can you describe what that scene was like?

STEIN: Yeah, it's - I mean throughout the afternoon, we've seen SWAT teams with guns drawn leaving the parking garage. We've seen people running from the terminal to farther out on the runway. We've seen helicopters, you know, strafing the area. And we've seen just a lot of people, you know, upset outside the airport kind of waiting and watching. Right now passengers are still - well, would-be passengers are still locked down in the terminal.

CORNISH: Were you able to speak with any of them?

STEIN: I have talked with a couple of people outside the airport but no one inside so far.

CORNISH: Kate Stein, reporter of member station WLRN - she spoke to us from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. And we just want to recap for you now what we know at this time. This gunman killed five people and injured at least 8 others before being taken into custody almost immediately by law enforcement. Officials say they believe he acted alone.

Now, so far, the person who has identified him - Florida Senator Bill Nelson says he is Esteban Santiago. The Pentagon has released a statement verifying that this 26-year-old was a National Guard soldier first serving in Puerto Rico and then Alaska. He'd also been a combat engineer and served in Iraq. We'll have more on this story throughout the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.
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