The Fort Lauderdale airport shooter had canceled a flight to New York City days before booking his flight to Florida, ABC News reports.
Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq War veteran, is accused of fatally shooting five people at the Florida airport on Jan. 6, 2017.
But Santiago initially had a flight booked to New York City for New Year’s Eve, according to ABC News. He later canceled that flight for unknown reasons and booked the one-way ticket from his home in Alaska to Fort Lauderdale.
It is not clear if New York had been his original destination or if he had planned to transfer.
Santiago, who appeared in federal court on Monday, could face the death penalty if convicted. He has admitted to planning the attack at the airport, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities say Santiago retrieved a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun from his checked luggage after arriving at the airport just before 1 p.m. He then loaded it in a bathroom before opening fire on people inside Terminal 2’s baggage claim. Five people were killed, six were wounded by gunshots and three dozen others suffered minor injuries as they fled the airport, police said.
Santiago is charged with performing an act of violence against a person at an airport that caused serious bodily injury, carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm, the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of Florida said.
He is being detained without bond and is due back in court for a detention hearing on Jan. 17, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
-With Lauren Cook and Reuters