The suspected killer in the Ft. Lauderdale rampage, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, was charged on Saturday with performing an act of violence at an airport, which could earn him the death penalty if he is convicted.
Santiago was charged with an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death and weapons charges.
Earlier, the FBI announced that Santiago apparently travelled to the airport for the purpose of carrying out the bloody rampage.
Santiago told investigators that he planned the attack, buying a one-way ticket to the Fort Lauderdale airport, a federal complaint said. Authorities don’t know why he chose his target and have not ruled out terrorism.
Terrorism may have been a “potential motivation” for the attack on Friday that killed five people, Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference.
Later in the afternoon, police in Alaska said they had returned a handgun to the Florida airport shooting suspect which was temporarily taken from him when he underwent a mental evaluation late last year, according to a Reuters report.
Anchorage Police Chief Christopher Tolley said it was not immediately clear if it was the same gun used in Friday’s deadly rampage. Officials told a news conference the gun was returned to the suspect because the Iraq war veteran had not committed a crime.