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5 dead, 8 injured in Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

Five people were killed and eight injured in a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Friday, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities haven’t officially identified the suspect, but it’s been widely reported that his name is Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Army National Guard veteran who lived in Anchorage, Alaska. Born in New Jersey, Santiago served a one-year tour in Iraq. Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen told the Associated Press that Santiago was deployed to Iraq in 2010.

Santiago was also hospitalized for mental health problems after the tour, his aunt told NJ.com.

Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that a lone suspect was responsible for the shooting and was taken in custody without incident. “At this point, it looks like he acted alone,” Israel said. In a news conference Friday, authorities stopped short of identifying the weapons the suspect used in the shooting in Terminal 2.

WATCH LIVE: Broward County Sheriff's Office holds a news conference to provide update on shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Posted by PBS NewsHour on Friday, January 6, 2017

Video by PBS NewsHour

A Broward County commissioner told the Associated Press that the suspect opened fire after claiming his checked bag. Although the Transportation Security Administration prohibits firearms in carry-on baggage, passengers can legally transport them in checked baggage.

Police said Santiago boarded a plane Thursday from Anchorage and arrived at Fort Lauderdale on Friday after changing planes in Minneapolis.

Shortly after reports of a suspect in custody, the sheriff’s department had tweeted that there were unconfirmed reports of additional “shots fired on airport property.” And although the TSA said there was an active shooter still on the scene, authorities later on downplayed reports of a second shooter during a news conference.

Israel added that the gunman was not harmed and that authorities did not return fire. The sheriff said it was too early to determine if the shooting was an act of terror. Authorities have not confirmed a motive.

Earlier today, the sheriff’s department tweeted that a call was received around 12:55 p.m. that shots were fired at the airport. “A number of people” were transported to a hospital, according to initial tweets from the sheriff’s department.

News helicopters hovering over the airport showed crowds of people standing on the tarmac outside.

The Federal Aviation Association issued a ground stop shortly after the shooting, suspending all flights at the airport.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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