By Ally Keefer
A question of airport security arose after a shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport on Friday, January 6. The shooter shot and killed 5 civilians and injured another 8. The gunman, Esteban Santiago, awaited the police’s arrival and went to a mental health facility after being arrested. Due to this tragedy, the airport closed for the rest of the day.
According to NBC News, Santiago had flown into the airport, checking one piece of luggage. The bag checked contained one item, a gun. After his flight landed, Santiago retrieved his luggage from the baggage claim and went into the restroom. There, he pulled out his gun and started shooting the people in the terminal.
In an interview by Fox News with the former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, it was stated that the airport was in complete chaos. In another interview by Fox News with Jillian Saunders, she stated, “I am luckily on the plane and they said we are right now the safest people at the airport.”
The twenty-six year old shooter was formerly in the Alaskan General Army Coast Guard, but was discharged due to unsatisfactory performance. No one knows why he did the shooting; however, it appeared there would be no other shootings related to him.
Everyone knows about airport security and how strict it is. This brings about the question of how this event could even occur. According to the Transportation Security Administration, it is legal to pack a gun in a checked bag. The gun has to be unloaded and in a box that is placed inside the bag. Therefore, all Santiago had to do was load the gun in the restroom after retrieving the bag and start shooting.
Immediately after the shooting took place, many airports around the country increased their security measures. According to USA Today, airports in New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Maryland all increased their personnel and some increased the number of K-9 explosive detection teams.