Calling the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport a “senseless act of evil,” Gov. Rick Scott on Friday said the state would use every available resource to keep Floridians and visitors safe.
“The citizens of Florida will not tolerate senseless acts of evil,” said Scott during a news conference at the airport Friday. “Whoever is responsible will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”
Authorities said five were killed and eight were wounded after a lone suspect opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale airport. The gunman has tentatively been identified as Esteban Santiago.
According to The Associated Press, he was born in New Jersey but moved to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico when he was 2 years old.
Bryan Santiago, the man’s brother, told The Associated Press Esteban Santiago grew up in the southern coastal town of Penuelas and served with the island’s National Guard for a couple of years. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla, according to Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen.
“You just can’t imagine how this can ever happen in a state like ours. Think of the innocent lives that were lost,” said Scott. “You can’t imagine how this can happen to any family anywhere in the world, but clearly we don’t want this happening in our state.”
Scott said his No. 1 priority is keeping “everyone that lives in our state, travels to our state” safe.
Scott said he spoke to President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence about the incident. He said has not talked with President Barack Obama. He also dismissed questions about whether the state should take steps to strengthen gun laws, saying it wasn’t the time for politics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report, reprinted with permission.