The Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirms that at least five people were killed and eight injured during a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday afternoon.
Shots reportedly rang out just before 1 p.m. local time in a baggage claim area of the airport. The Fort Lauderdale mayor said a single shooter acted alone and has been taken into custody. In an interview with MSNBC, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) identified the shooter as Esteban Santiago and said he carried a military ID card. A subsequent NBC report said Santiago is 26 years old and had a “handgun.”
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca shared some details about what happened:
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonFL) January 6, 2017
According to the Gun Violence Archive, Friday’s shooting is the sixth mass shooting of 2017. The Archive counted at least 383 mass shootings in the United States last year, defined as incidents that injure four or more people. In total, 14,896 people were killed as a result of firearm-related incidents in 2016, according to the Archive.
Earlier this week, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature planned to debate a bill next week that would repeal laws banning guns in airport terminals.
The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, said, “If you want to kill as many people as possible before the cops arrive then you are likely to go to a place where law-abiding citizens can’t carry… That’s what we’ve seen, time and time again and why I think we shouldn’t have them.”
As ThinkProgress has previously detailed, the notion that “gun-free zones” create easy targets and hence encourage mass shootings is a myth. Only 13 percent of mass shooting from January 2009 to July 2015 took place in a gun-free zone, and from 2000 to 2013, 21 active shootings were stopped by unarmed citizens, while just one was stopped by an armed civilian.