A gunman opened fire at a baggage carousel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least five people before being taken into custody, according to officials and witnesses.
Broward County Sheriff's office confirmed the shooting, tweeting "multiple people dead. One subject in custody."
"There is an ongoing incident in Terminal 2, Baggage Claim," said a post on the airport's Twitter account. A spokesperson for the airport could not immediately be reached for comment.
The suspected shooter was identified as Esteban Santiago by Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson who told reporters Santiago was carrying a military ID, but did not elaborate.
Former press secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush Ari Fleischer, who was inside the airport, tweeted there was a shooting and that everyone was running.
Social media reactions to the incident:
The Florida attack was the latest in a series of mass shootings that have plagued the United States in recent years, some inspired by militants with an extreme view of Islam, others carried out by loners or the mentally disturbed who have easy access to weapons under U.S. gun laws.
About 90 minutes after the attack, panic broke out anew with passengers and police running frantically about at a separate terminal, but Israel said there were no other reports of shots being fired.
John Schlicher, who told MSNBC he saw the attack, described the shooter as a slender man who was "directly firing at us" while passengers waited for their bags.
"I put my head down and prayed," Schlicher said, adding that his wife gave first aid to someone who had been shot in the head. His mother-in-law used her sweater to tend to another victim but it turned out that person was already dead, he said.
Mark Lea, another eyewitness, told MSNBC "there was no rhyme or reason to it."
"He didn't say anything, he was quiet the whole time, he didn't yell anything," Lea said.
Security officials corralled dozens of passengers in several groups.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the second largest in South Florida, serving as an intercontinental gateway, with Miami International Airport known as the primary airport for international flights in the area.
(Reporting by AOL News and Zachary Fagenson of Reuters)
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