There are new details that are emerging concerning the suspect who unleashed the shooting that left five people dead at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday. The suspect who is known as Esteban Santiago-Ruiz has been identified as a former soldier. Santiago-Ruiz is said to have sought psychological treatment after a tour in Iraq, he also made a statement to the FBI claiming that he was being forced to fight for the Islamic State terror group.
In a statement made to the NJ Advance Media, by the suspect’s aunt, Santiago-Ruiz lost his mind during a year-long tour in Iraq five years ago, consequently, he was hospitalized for mental health issues.
The NBC affiliate in Anchorage, KTUU, said that Santiago-Ruiz departed from the Alaska Army National Guard in August 2016. KTUU also provided a list of highlights from his time in the military in progressive sequence:
Joined the Puerto Rico National Guard Dec. 14, 2007
Deployed to Iraq with Puerto Rico National Guard April 23, 2010 to February 19, 2011
Was in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard Nov. 21, 2014
Received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard Aug. 16, 2016 for unsatisfactory performance
He was a combat engineer (MOS: 21B10)
When he was discharged, his military rank was E3 (Private First Class)
A report made By CBS News indicated that Fort Lauderdale shooting suspect had a history with the FBI, adding that in November 2016 he went to an FBI office in Anchorage, where he reported that he was being forced to work for the Islamic State terror group.
In a statement made by Bryan Santiago, Santiago-Ruiz’s brother, Esteban was living in Alaska where he was receiving psychological treatment. However, Bryan pointed out that he was not aware of the exact details that surrounded the specific treatment.
The Homeland Security also has a history with the suspect. In a report issued by CBS Miami. Santiago-Ruiz was “investigated by Homeland Security Investigations for child porn,” in 2011 or 2012. Following the investigation, “three weapons and a computer were seized, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute.”
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca detailed the shooting as he told the Associated Press that Santiago-Ruiz flew in on an Air Canada flight and then he retrieved a gun from his bag and loaded it in the restroom. According to later reports, Santiago-Ruiz flew in on a Delta Air Flight.