FORT LAUNDERDALE, F.L. (WPRI) – 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. But authorities say they don’t know why he chose his target and have not ruled out terrorism.
Authorities say they held a lengthy interrogation with the cooperative suspect, a former Army National Guard soldier from Alaska.
Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, is being held without bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.