According to multiple reports out of Florida, there has been a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. A lone gunman entered the baggage claim area and opened fire, hitting multiple people. At least five people have been reported dead.
The authorities have a suspect in custody, who was found with a military ID (although it’s uncertain whether it’s legitimate), and the thousands of passengers that had been ushered out onto the tarmac were allowed back into the airport at 1:40 p.m. (EST).
Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary for the Bush administration was there during the mayhem, and tweeted out: “I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.” Video from the scene immediately made the rounds on social media, including graphic imagery of the victims.
Baggage claims in most airports across the United States are unsecured, allowing anyone to walk in without going through security checkpoints. Nine people are confirmed as being hit by the shooter, while others suffered injuries during the ensuing panic.
An eyewitness from the scene reported to ABC News that the shooter was wearing some sort of uniform, though that is unconfirmed. A user on Reddit commented saying: “There now. Had just walked down the stairs to the baggage claim when pop pop pop went off 50 feet from. Everyone either froze or dropped to the ground. Then mulitple (sic) more shots. Everyone just started running.”
The suspect has been taken alive, which is unusual for these types of situations. Both Los Angeles and Miami airports report that they are increasing security for at least the rest of today.
After the suspect was taken into custody and the panicked passengers were confirmed safe, the airport resumed activity at their other terminals. Terminal 2, where the incident occurred is still closed for the investigation.