How any cries for help did this guy need to give? One hospitalization will not do it for serious mental health problems. And he strangled his girlfriend! And he went to the FBI and told them he was being forced to fight for ISIS! How was he not being watched?! This shooting could have been prevented!
The gunman behind the deadly shooting at Florida’s Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport is an Iraq war veteran who had recently become a father and was suffering mental health issues, according to his family.
Esteban Santiago, 26, left five people dead and eight wounded when he opened fire in the airport’s baggage claim terminal on Friday.
His family have said Santiago was struggling with psychiatric problems in the lead up to the shooting and had recently been hospitalized for treatment in Anchorage, Alaska.
Santiago had also been charged with domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend in January 2016, The Daily Beast reports.
He allegedly verbally abused her in their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska while she was locked in the bathroom. Santiago is accused of then breaking down the door and hitting the woman in the head and strangling her.
Santiago was arrested days later after fleeing the scene but was released on the condition he stayed away from the victim. He was charged with violating the conditions in February 2016 after police found him at his girlfriend’s home. The assault case was resolved in March.
His brother Bryan Santiago, who lives in Puerto Rico, said his family got a call in recent months from Santiago’s girlfriend alerting them to his health situation.
He said he didn’t know what his brother was being treated for and that they never talked about it over the phone.
The incident that sparked his hospitalization occurred in November when Santiago walked into an FBI office in Anchorage claiming the government was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch videos for ISIS, CBS reports.
A law enforcement official said the FBI interviewed him and then called the police, who took him for a mental health evaluation. The FBI said Santiago stated he did not want to harm anyone, but authorities were concerned by his erratic behavior. They said they closed their assessment of him once he was admitted for treatment.
He was also contacted by the FBI after an employer back in Alaska raised concerns about certain things he had said, according to ABC News.