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Official: Fort Lauderdale airport shooting suspect not linked to Canada

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The Latest on the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport (all times local):

5 p.m. — A spokeswoman from the Canadian Embassy says the suspect in the shooting at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale has no connection to the country and did not fly to Florida from there.

Embassy spokeswoman Christine Constantin said in an email to The Associated Press that the suspect did not travel from Canada and was not on an Air Canada flight. She says the suspect has no connection to Canada.

The shooting happened at the airport’s terminal 2, where Air Canada and Delta operate flights. Five were killed and eight wounded.

Constantin’s email says, “We understand from officials he was on a flight originating in Anchorage, transiting through Minneapolis and landing in Ft. Lauderdale.”

3:35 p.m. — A county official says the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter pulled a gun out of a checked bag, loaded in a bathroom and started shooting, killing five people and wounding at least eight.

Chip LaMarca, a Broward County commissioner, was briefed on the airport shooting by Broward Sheriff’s office. He told The Associated Press by phone that the shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight and had checked a gun.

LaMarca says the shooter pulled out the gun in the bathroom after claiming his bag.

Sheriff Scott Israel says the gunman was not harmed and that law enforcement did not fire any shots. He says it is not yet known if the shooting was an act of terror.

Israel also says there was nothing to substantiate reports of a second shooting at the airport.

3:15 p.m.

A passenger says he heard the first gunshots as he picked up his luggage from a baggage claim carousel in a shooting at a Florida airport that left five dead and eight wounded.

John Schilcher told Fox News the person next to him fell to the ground Friday. He says other people started falling, and he then dropped to the ground with his wife and mother-in-law. Schilcher says “the firing just went on and on.”

He says the shooter emptied his weapon and reloaded during an eerily quiet lull in the gunfire. Schilcher says he didn’t assume it was safe until he saw a police officer standing over him at the Fort Lauderdale international airport.

He says he remained on the ground and was told not to move as authorities investigated unconfirmed reports of a second shooting.

3 p.m. — Officials say there have been unconfirmed reports of additional shots fired at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after a gunman killed five people and wounded eight there.

On Friday afternoon, the Broward County sheriff’s office said on its Twitter account: “Active search: Unconfirmed reports of addt’l shots fired on airport property.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the shooting stopped all traffic at the airport. Passengers were evacuated from the terminal 2 baggage claim area. Passengers returned to the airport as officials said the lone gunman was in custody. But TV reports showed some passengers evacuating again, several looking panicked and ducking behind cars or hiding.

Witness Judah Fernandez told CNN he heard what he believes were the first shots, re-entered the airport, but then rushed out again shortly later to the tarmac. He said: “Everyone’s running now.” He said both security officials and passengers were running.

___

2:50 p.m. — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says the Fort Lauderdale airport gunman was carrying a military ID with the name Esteban Santiago, though it’s not clear if it belonged to him or to someone else.

Nelson did not spell the name for reporters during a news conference Friday. Nelson says the baggage claim area is a “soft target.” The airport had initially reported an “incident” in the baggage claim area.

Authorities say five people were killed and eight wounded in the shooting.

Nelson says a motive still hasn’t been determined.

Reprinted with permission of the Associated Press.

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