New details are being revealed about the suspect involved in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting that occurred on Friday. According to USA Today the shooter, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, claimed that the government had control over his mind.
Two months prior to the shooting, Santiago showed up at the FBI offices in Anchorage, Alaska unannounced. While authorities interviewed Santiago, he reportedly claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies were trying to influence him to fight for ISIS.
“During the interview, Santiago appeared agitated and incoherent, and made disjointed statements,” read a statement released by the FBI on Friday. “Although Santiago stated that he did not wish to harm anyone, as a result of his erratic behavior, interviewing agents contacted local authorities who took custody of Santiago and transported him to a local medical facility for evaluation. The FBI closed its assessment of Santiago after conducting database reviews, inter-agency checks, and interviews of his family members.” Federal authorities proceeded to conduct a background check on Santiago, who used to serve in the Puerto Rico National Guard as a combat engineer, but found no ties to terrorism.
Maria Luisa Ruiz, Santiago’s aunt, says over the past month he became mentally unstable. In September, Santiago welcomed a son into the world. According to Ruiz, shortly after the birth of his child, he was hospitalized. “Like a month ago, it was like he lost his mind,” she told USA Today. “He said he saw things.”
During the airport shooting, five people were left slain, six people were wounded and over 40 individuals were injured when the airport was evacuated, reports CNN.
Santiago was apprehended following the incident and still remains in custody.