More shocking details have been revealed about Esteban Santiago, the shooter behind the deadly attack at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6, including his dark past after serving in the Iraq War. Get the details on the gunman, as described by his own family.
Authorities are still piecing together the story of Esteban Santiago, 26, the gunman who opened fire in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6, killing five bystanders and injuring at least eight others. While we don’t have all the facts yet, the most recent information to surface is incredibly shocking. Esteban’s family revealed that he is an Iraq War veteran who recently became a father and suffers from mental health issues. According to the family, he was even hospitalized for treatment in Anchorage, Alaska before the shooting. How terrifying!
Esteban, who was born in New Jersey but grew up in Puerto Rico, was deployed to Iraq back in 2010. He received a handful of medals before being discharged for unsatisfactory performance in August 2016. Esteban returned to Anchorage, Alaska where he and his girlfriend welcomed a baby in September 2016. But Esteban’s aunt, Maria Ruiz, told NorthJersey.com that, though he was happy after his child’s birth, all was not right and he was recently hospitalized for two weeks. “Like a month ago, it was like he lost his mind. He said he saw things,” she said.
The shocking incident that led to his hospitalization occurred in November 2016, when Esteban entered an FBI office in Anchorage saying the government was forcing him to watch videos for ISIS, according to CBS. Esteban was interviewed by the FBI and then taken for a mental health assessment. Though the FBI said Esteban said he didn’t want to hurt anyone, the authorities were still concerned and didn’t close their assessment of him until he was admitted.
The gunman’s brother, Bryan Santiago, thinks Esteban may have suffered from a “flashback” from his time in Iraq, which could have been his motive for the shooting. However, Esteban was never diagnosed with PTSD, NBC reported. He does have a history of violence, having been charged with domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend in January 2016.
HollywoodLifers, what are your thoughts on these shocking facts about Esteban? Let us know below.