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Five Dead, Eight Hurt in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired January 6, 2017 - 16:30   ET


JANE HARMAN, PRESIDENT, WILSON CENTER: We're doing a better job of that, that's another defense that the Trump administration ought to roll out as fast as possible.

[16:30:07] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Congresswoman Jane Harman, thanks very much.

HARMAN: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: I want to return now to our other big breaking news story this hour, a mass shooting at Ft. Lauderdale airport. Five people are dead. Eight others are wounded. The airport remains shut down.

The suspect, however, is in custody. And sources tell CNN he had a weapon in his checked bag, which he retrieved when he arrived there at Ft. Lauderdale.

I want to bring back CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown. She has new information on the shooter.

Pam, what are we learning?

PAM BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We're learning, Jim, that investigators are looking into a possible altercation on the plane that the suspect was on from Anchorage, Alaska, to Florida.

There are been claims by witnesses, by some of those on the plane, that the suspect Esteban Santiago got into some sort of altercation on the plane with other passengers, and as we know, after he got off of that plane there in Ft. Lauderdale, he went into his checked bag, once it came through baggage claim, pulled out the gun that apparently he had filled out paperwork and declared before, and then opened fire, killing five people.

We are still trying to get more information about this altercation and, of course, investigators, want to verify it. Oftentimes as you know there are witness accounts, but they want to corroborate that. The initial reports are that investigators are looking into this possible altercation between the suspect and passengers as a possible motive there for the shooting and in baggage claim there at the Ft. Lauderdale airport -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Pamela, that would be enormously important, because it would imply, and again, we always want to caution our viewers that these are early reports, early facts, not conclusive at this point. But it would be an indicator this was not previously planned, right?

BROWN: Right.

SCIUTTO: That it was more spontaneous, perhaps, a reaction to what happened on the flight?

BROWN: And that's exactly what investigators are looking at because, of course, when anything like this happens you want to figure out is this terrorism or some other motive at play here, was there some sort of issue? And so, that is why this is a critical piece of evidence that investigators are looking at or claim I should say from the witnesses, this possible altercation may be one of the reasons, as you point out, sometimes there's multiple factors, but one of the reasons at least why he got off that plane and went into his checked bag and pulled that gun.

We also are learning today, Jim, that the suspect apparently was in the military. We know we heard from Senator Nelson earlier he had a military ID. They were trying to verify the authenticity and we are told from our sources that, in fact, he was in the Army. No criminal record we're told.

So, we're trying to piece together more about the suspect or more about him. But that's the very latest we know right now, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Pamela Brown, thanks very much.

Just reiterating her new information there. Law enforcement officials saying that there was some sort of altercation with the suspected shooter on the flight and it was after that altercation that he went and retrieved that weapon and fired in the baggage area.

I want to bring back our panel now: Juliette Kayyem, CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, and with me here in Washington, CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes.

So, with that new information, Tom Fuentes, possible altercation on the flight, what does that tell you at this stage?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, at this point, we don't know who he was having an argument with. Did he know them before? Is this a group of people who were already friends or went hunting together or something and had a previous argument, continued on the plane with each other and then he continues it afterward when he has the firearm? Or are they complete strangers and argued about overhead bin space or some other issue on the plane?

So, that will be determined hopefully pretty soon by the FBI and police that are doing the interviews of him, as well as the passenger witnesses as to -- and the victims who he was arguing with. You know, why were you arguing? What was the cause of that?

SCIUTTO: To Juliette Kayyem, airports are tense places. Flying, God knows, we all know it can be a tense time. Is that an argument for not allowing people to even check weapons when they travel? JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it will be very

difficult. People carry weapons for a variety of reasons, hunting trips, or they're moving and they need to move their lawful weaponry and so, I think the clear thing that we're all picking up on now, it's just -- it's still undetermined whether he entered the flight with the intention to do this in Ft. Lauderdale or if something triggered him. And look, something could trigger anyone in an airport and they could be armed even if they weren't a passenger and just come in through baggage claim.

So, we have a lot more to determine at this stage, but I have to say, the protocols for putting guns in checked baggage are pretty strict. You have to show that the gun is lawfully yours. It can't, of course, be loaded. You have to fill out forms and that's actually part of the security process that someone like me never worried that much about.

[16:35:00] And we just have to determine whether this was someone who used a potential loophole to attack an airport or actually was someone who this could have happened anywhere. He's deranged or has mental issues and used a gun in his possession to kill people at an airport.

SCIUTTO: To be clear, and, Juliette, you may know this or, Tom, you can check both a weapon and ammunition?


SCIUTTO: Tom Fuentes shaking his head, yes.


FUENTES: If you're going on a hunting trip you will have both with you when you arrive at the destination.


FUENTES: The fact that he's coming from Alaska, that might be why he was there. We don't know.

SCIUTTO: Sorry, Juliette?

KAYYEM: That's exactly what I was going to pick up on. Hundreds of thousands of law enforcement personnel who often travel with their weaponry.

You have to fill something out. It's a protocol under the FAA and TSA. You have to fill something out. You can't just do it. But, nonetheless, it's a common procedure for people who own guns.

SCIUTTO: Phil, Phil Mudd, I know I'm asking you this with a handicap because it's early, I'm just asking you in light of your experience as a profiler, you look at this person here, altercation on the flight, carrying a weapon, but also other things like shooting and killing, and then laying down, letting himself be arrested. As you look at that early and incomplete picture, what do you take away?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: As somebody in the counterterrorism business, let me take you behind the door for a moment. The first thing people in my business think about, Jim, is they hope it's not terrorism. You know, in some ways if you have to rank incidents of tragedy and violence in this country, as soon as you get an incidence of terrorism, you're saying who organized this? Is there an immigration issue? Is there connection to ISIS?

If we have someone that stepped off the plane, what I see in the initial stages of this, is an individual who doesn't show the characteristics of the people I used to worry about when I chased terrorism. We talked about, for example, lying down on the floor. The people I chased typically would want to have enough ammunition so that they went down in a fire fight with law enforcement.

That was not a suicide operation. That for them was a martyrdom operation. I look at this and say, I think we might come to a conclusion over the next hours it was just one of those tragedies where you say I'm not sure there's anything you can do.

SCIUTTO: And just for the sake of our viewers, that word terrorism there. We don't have any evidence yet and no official has told me at this point. The official word we're hearing from multiple sources is no known motive at this point, although the newest information there was an altercation on the flight could be indicative.

Tom Fuentes, you had a thought.

FUENTES: Yes, I'd like to make a distinction here. You know, we say that we haven't seen this, but that's because we're always broadcasting about terrorism events, jihadist events and typically, they're not taken alive. We just saw this in Istanbul.

SCIUTTO: Fair enough.

FUENTES: State and local police will tell you, I was a street cop six years, that there are many situations, police arrive, someone has shot their family dead, thrown the gun down and surrendered, or they've committed in other serious crime with a firearm, firing shots, and when police arrive they surrender. So, it's not uncommon in general circles even if we think it's uncommon in our circles.

SCIUTTO: Julia Kayyem, as we're looking at this as well, what are the missing pieces at this point that you'll be looking for? The unanswered questions?

KAYYEM: Well, during the press conference, I thought it was interesting and this just having seen so many of these, the extent to which they are going to shut down the entire airport. That's, you know, that's better safe than sorry at this stage. They need to reopen it relatively soon. It's a major airport. And the FAA and it TSA are working as we've heard already to divert everything.

So, you're going to start to see a slow reopening of different terminals. That's part of the protocol.

The unanswered questions I have is just the basic one, is essentially was this a cross-country from Alaska to Florida flight which seems less likely to me or an altercation where he happened to have a gun. We don't know much about the assailant at this stage, so we want to learn more. I have confidence that they believe, that the officials, just based on the press conference, that they believe it's an individual assailant who got triggered by something only because they seemed quite confident and they wouldn't be, that the imminent threat was now over.

SCIUTTO: OK, Juliette, Phil Mudd, Tom Fuentes, please stay there for a moment.

We want to go back to the scene of this shooting rampage, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. CNN's Boris Sanchez is live just outside.

Boris, what are you seeing in the last few minutes from your vantage point there?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we're just waiting for a press briefing from the governor of Florida, Rick Scott. It's set to start in about ten minutes or so.

We've seen several helicopters circling overhead, Broward County sheriff's and others.

As we heard from the sheriff of Broward County, about an hour or so ago, this is still a fluid scene. It does seem, obviously, like it's way more under control than it was just a few hours ago. They just put up that yellow tape. We're seeing a very large law enforcement presence from all over the southeast part of Florida here.

[16:40:03] The difficulty now is in canvassing all the passengers and people that are still here on the scene. There are several hundred people that really can't go anywhere because the airport is shut down. And as you can see behind me, this is terminal 2, this is where the shooting took place on the lower level in the baggage claim area.

This is an Air Canada and Delta terminal. And just to give you an idea, this is the second floor, this is where the departures leave. Obviously, the lower floor, the baggage claim area where the shooting happened is the arrivals.

Still, so much to piece together in this, Jim. One thing I did want to point out, I asked the sheriff of Broward County perhaps they identified a vehicle belonging to the shooter here at Ft. Lauderdale international airport. He told me they had not.

We did see a large group of officials heavily armed going through the parking structure. So we're trying to figure out exactly what details might give us an idea of what was going through the shooter's mind and if this was something that was planned or perhaps if he was responding to an altercation on the plane as some of our sources have been saying -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Boris Sanchez on the scene.

Joining me now on the telephone is Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Senator Rubio, thank you very much for taking the time.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA (via telephone): Thank you. Thanks for having me on. And a terrible situation.

SCIUTTO: It is. Our thoughts with you. A tragedy in your home state.

If I can begin, can you tell us if there's any updated information on the shooting? What can you tell us?

RUBIO: Well, I want to be very cautious about what we share because I think it's still a very fluid situation. I think you've already probably reported the name of the assailant, I think you've reported.

You know, there are still some questions whether -- it's pretty clear he was an inbound passenger. That seems to be some confusion as of 15 minutes ago still among the agencies about whether he was inbound on an international flight or inbound domestic flight but from outside the continental United States.

I think, obviously, the other thing that's going on and you're probably seeing images of it, is they're just trying to make sure this thing is finished, because there's always this concern if it were some sort of coordinated incident, you would have one attack to draw in first responders and law enforcement and the secondary attack to target them. We know those are tactics that have been attempted or discussed in the past. So, that's part of what you're watching.

Then, it goes to preserving evidence because if, in fact, this turns out to be a domestic prosecution, they've got to be able to prove it in court. So, all of that is going on simultaneously, even as they are trying to run as much information as they can about this individual across databases to try to begin to piece together what happened here.

SCIUTTO: Are you seeing any information, any indication, that this was a coordinated attack, beyond a lone gunman?

RUBIO: No. As of now, nor have any of the agencies indicated that they suspect it. But they can't -- they've got to rule all of that out. So, they're going to take every precaution on the ground.

Our immediate interactions with the FBI concluded that while their involvement because of the investigative capability and because it involves aviation, there could be federal criminal violations involved here, in fact, there no doubt is. But they do not at least initially see this as some sort of an act of terrorism in terms of what we are normally associate it, obviously it was terrifying and terrorizing.

But it was -- as of this moment anyway, that's not the way they're approaching it. But I'm not sure they've ruled that out. They've got to gather information.

SCIUTTO: No question. We do know throughout as we ask you these questions. We know it's early. The picture is incomplete. We're hearing from law enforcement sources here in Washington that

this passenger had -- witnesses say he had some sort of altercation on the flight before he then retrieved his weapon from his bags and then carried out his shooting.

Are law enforcement sources there telling you any more about that? Whether they believe that was the motivation?

RUBIO: Well, I'm not prepared to say that was the motivation. I know that was mentioned as a potential cause and they wanted to kind of look into that a little further and get to that point. I think what they'll probably be troubled by the attack did not seem targeted at specific individual, but rather just kind of widespread across the baggage claim area.

But that was, in fact, one of the potential causes that was brought up among several others. But we're not trying to be evasive. I certainly am not. But it's -- truly, they just don't know. Just a few hours removed from this happening and they've got to piece all of this together before they know more.

And, you know, one of the things that's unusual about it is, if you wanted to shoot up the baggage claim area of any airport in America, you don't have to fly there on an airplane, check it in your bag and wait for the bag to come out. You can just drive up, walk in and do it.

So, I think that's putting some doubt in their minds about premeditation in terms of that being a specific target. But again, we'll learn more, I imagine, over the next few hours and days.

SCIUTTO: Now, we know the name or multiple sources have told us the name Esteban Santiago.

[16:45:00] We're also told that he had a military I.D. on his person. I'm curious if you know any more about his background? For instance, that whether he was an active or former military service member?

RUBIO: No, I can tell you that that is the name. The name that I've heard from multiple sources now, and at the - and then, in fact, the military I.D. component. I did ask a question about whether it was an active military I.D. and they didn't have the answer at the moment. I asked again local law enforcement, I think we're the first to kind of move on that front in terms of identification. My understanding he's in custody and injured, so I imagine he's been transported to a medical facility.

I don't have any more. I would just say one thing, and then the name, if you ran that name on just a public database, obviously, without knowing more about who it was, that's not an uncommon name, Esteban is not an uncommon name - Spanish, and Santiago is not an uncommon name, neither. It's not Garcia or Perez, but it's not uncommon. So, I imagine they're trying to make sure they got the right person. And through that, I think the passenger manifest from the airline is probably brought into some high-level certainty at this point, but as of now, there's nothing in what they know about this individual that has led them to change any of the assumptions that I've outlined to you earlier here in this conversation.

SCIUTTO: Well, Senator Rubio, we thank you for taking the time and we're sorry that you and your state have to -- have to experience a violence like this.

RUBIO: Well, I just know that, I mean, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those that have already lost their lives and several others that have been severely injured and as a result of this attack and we'd pray for them and hope that they'll be able to make a full recovery.

SCIUTTO: No question. We'll be thinking of them as well. Senator Rubio, thanks very much.

RUBIO: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: I want to go now to CNN Aviation Correspondent, Rene Marsh. Rene Marsh, can you tell us what you're learning most recently about the shooter and the investigation so far?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, just to reset, Jim, we know that the name of the shooter is Esteban Santiago, as you've been mentioning there, he flew from Alaska to Florida. We do know, again, that that gun was checked in his checked luggage. He had declared that weapon and then he retrieved that weapon and that's when he opened fire after getting off of his flight.

Now, you know, many people may not realize, but he went about this all very legally. TSA rules are very clear. They state what the rules are for carrying a gun on board. You can legally carry a weapon, as well as ammunition, only in your checked luggage. You cannot carry that in your carry-on luggage and that's exactly what this individual did. However, when you do carry it in your checked luggage, it has to be unloaded. It has to be in a hard, locked case. And again, you have to declare it to the airline at that ticket counter.

So, to our knowledge, this traveler, Esteban Santiago, did all of those things and he did all of those things very legally. However, you have a problem which we've talked about time and time again, with these airports. We saw it happen in Istanbul where you have the soft targets of the airport that essentially, if you talk to any law enforcement official, it really is virtually impossible to get the vulnerability down to zero. Anyone will tell you that.

And so, this particular area where he opened fire, the baggage claim area of the airport, it was not by the TSA checkpoint, that is considered the soft target. And he essentially took advantage of that, Jim, and that is why we are where we are at this hour, where the latest numbers are that five people had been shot dead and we do know that eight were transported to the hospital.

SCIUTTO: Rene, just to be clear, we're showing live pictures there. We continue to see police activity on the tarmac. Even on some of the highways leading into the airport terminal there, blocking traffic, et cetera. But also to be clear, a little more than a -- less than an hour ago, police said they believe there is no active shooter still present, that it looks like this shooter who's in custody, acted alone. Have they changed that assessment? Are they still acting as if there could be other assailants there?

MARSH: Well, when we did get that update, they did tell us that they had cleared everyone out of that vicinity, simply because they had their SWAT team coming in and they were -- their SWAT team was going inch by inch throughout that area looking for others, potentially, but they did say they strongly believe that they had their one shooter. However, they want a sterile situation so that not only can they make sure 100 percent that the threat is gone, but also looking for evidence because they need not only physical evidence, but, of course, they're going to want to look at that tape, as well, that tape is going tell a lot as far as how long did this all go on. That tape will tell them exactly where he was standing, where he -- who he was aiming at, how he went about this as he opened fire on these innocent travellers. Jim.

[16:50:13] SCIUTTO: Rene Marsh, thanks very much. Please stand by. I want to bring in now, Nigel Nelson. He was there, he heard the gun shots, as he waited in the security line. Nigel, you think you may have been close to the shooter as this happened?

NIGEL NELSON, WITNESS: Pretty close, actually. So, I was in the line waiting, just about to step through the screening area, when we heard the shots and there were people running behind us and screaming, security personnel screaming, "run, run, run, run, run", so, we ran. We were led out by the flight attendants, and so on, onto the tarmac, and there we waited until about an hour or so when we got new data as to what was happening and they tried to, you know, provide refreshment and (INAUDIBLE).

SCIUTTO: Now, I understand, you may have heard more gun shots following that initial round of gunfire?

NELSON: This was about - this is about 45 minutes to an hour after we were off on the tarmac waiting when they got us all together and said that they've pretty much secured the building or secured the terminal and they were trying to get us inside - get us back inside.

SCIUTTO: Understood.

NELSON: And that's when we heard shouting and screaming again and people started scurrying away. And then, I heard at least two more shots. Then, of course, we started running.

SCIUTTO: I understand in that panic, you lost your shoes, just a sign of how quickly people had to get out of there?

NELSON: Well, actually, I was -- like I said, I was just about to step through the security screening. I put my shoes, my phone, my wallet, all my belongings into the trays, they were about to go through. And that's when the shooting started and that's when everybody started running. So, I had to run without even a belt on my pants, with everything. I just had to run.

SCIUTTO: Now, what are you seeing there right now, as I understand you're still at the airport?

NELSON: I'm still at the airport. We're -- I'm in terminal D -- terminal 2, section - what's this, D6. We were led back inside. We're told that they're doing some amount of checks still. They did confirm with us a while ago that they saw or they found a suspicious, something suspicious. They're going to do a controlled explosion within five minutes or so, so the announcement just came over to tell us that we shouldn't panic or anything. So, we're still waiting. The security personnel, they're moving around, trying to keep us calm, trying to, you know, give us a sense of security and all of that.

SCIUTTO: Well, thank you very much, Nigel Nelson. We here at CNN are glad that you're safe. I want to go back now to CNN's Evan Perez. Evan, I understand you have new information?

NELSON: You're welcome. All right.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The fact that the suspect had, with the FBI, in Anchorage, Alaska, recently about a couple months ago, he showed up at the Anchorage Office of the FBI, and apparently he was exhibiting some kind of mental health issues, there was some concern there. Local authorities or himself -- at some point he has checked into a local mental health institution, according to officials that we've been talking to. Again, this is still part of the early investigation that still putting together a picture of exactly where he's been, what exactly might have led up to this - to the shooting, but what we're beginning -- what's beginning to emerge from all of this, Jim, is a picture of somebody who was exhibiting some kind of mental health illness, some kind of mental health issues. He apparently checked himself in, or voluntarily was checked in to a mental health institution there to -- for some treatment, after he showed up at the FBI Office in Anchorage, Alaska.

After that, we don't know what happens next. We know that he did get on a flight from Alaska and was -- flew into Fort Lauderdale today. Earlier, we, I think, mistakenly had said that he had come through Canada, but I think that's partly because of some of his initial interviews, some of his initial statements to investigators, in which he indicated that he had come from Canada. We now know that he, indeed, had come from Alaska, had flown into Fort Lauderdale airport earlier today, before he started carrying out this shooting. Again, mental health issues, is the picture that's emerging here from this suspect. Jim.

SCIUTTO: That's right. I'd heard similar from U.S. officials earlier. Evan Perez, thanks very much. Tom Fuentes, here with me in Washington, also Phil Mudd, still on the line. Tom, as you listen to that, we're beginning to get a clearer picture perhaps of the suspect and the shooting.

[16:54:59] TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right, it could be serious mental health problems. We don't know the cause of it. You know, we've had other incidents where somebody severely mentally ill does have access or owns a gun, which apparently, is the case here. But you have situations where if somebody already owns a gun, and then later gets mental health treatment, there's no real way to go find him and take the gun away. So, that's another possibility in this situation that he developed this problem mentally after he already owned the gun.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's an issue that comes up so frequently with shootings that we cover, mental health, I know that's one issue that you hear from republicans as well, that maybe they need to address the mental health issues as tied to gun violence. Phil Mudd, you've got a lot of experience profiling bad actors. Tell us your view as we hear more information about the suspected shooter?

PHILIP MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Well, I'd step away from this and I think we're going to come up with the unavoidable conclusion, that we have another tragedy in America that's not preventable. Because we have someone who has mental health issues who didn't before he got on the plane intend to kill somebody. That said, there's a difference between assessing this now as a private citizen, or what I would be thinking up on the inside. Two quick things, did anybody know before he got on the plane that he had anger issues that might manifest themselves on the plane, and did he talk about an incident of violence? My guess is no, but guess is not good enough here. And then there's a second bigger question. Is there anything we can learn? We're just talking about the issue of, how do you think about someone who goes into mental health treatment who has access to a weapon? I think you got to do an after action here but I'm afraid we're going to step away and say, in the America of 2017, this is just going to happen periodically.

SCIUTTO: Sadly, we come on the air with stories like this more often than we can count. Juliette Kayyem, based on Evan's information, the idea that did he

arrived on an earlier flight than we believed, initially, and might have had some time to think about this before he acted?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. What I'm, you know, just picking up on Phil's point as to what are we going to learn from this? You know, obviously, you know, we have another major mass casualty shooting, and there are debates, political debates about guns and access to guns, but the other question I have, is if there was some sort of altercation or disturbance on an airplane, or around the airplane, what -- did officials at the airport, they're certainly plenty of them, whether it was the airline industry, or TSA, or local or state officials, did they do anything or what did they do? I'm curious about that only because we have to train these officials to be able to deescalate problems in a world in which we have too many - we have lots of arms and unfortunately, untreated mental health issues.

And so that would be one of my takeaways from this as we started the hour, you know, I said that this was our -- that this was a suspicion, that this was someone who got on a plane and didn't intend on doing this. And how can we deescalate these situations before they lead to a tragedy like this.

SCIUTTO: Well, just to reiterate some of that new information, learning now, that the shooter, one, had previous contact with the FBI, he was known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two, that it is believed that he had mental health issues, possible mental health problems. In addition to that, we learned as well, Tom Fuentes, that there might have been altercation on this flight, an immediate, perhaps triggering event.

FUENTES: Right. At this point, we just need to do the investigation. We need to find out what exactly happened, to the extent we can know it, but we may never know what was inside his head that caused this to happen. And, you know, what his background is. So, it's going to take more investigation to even have an idea of what happened here.

SCIUTTO: OK, Tom Fuentes, thank you. We have new information, that being, a photo of the shooting suspect here. I'm going to go now to our Evan Perez.

PEREZ: That's right, Jim. This is a photo that we have of the suspect. You know, there was not a lot of -- we checked his criminal background, there was not a lot in his criminal background. Just some very minor stuff that he - that showed up in the records. And so, this indicates that aside from this recent visit to the FBI Office in Anchorage, Alaska, there's really not much contact that the police have had, the law enforcement has had with him. We're told that he has not shown up on any radar of anybody who is potentially extremist or radicalized. Again, that's not one of the first things, unfortunately these days that law enforcement does when one of these cases happens, they immediately check to see whether or not there's anything that comes up with regard to extremism. We haven't -- they haven't found any indication of that at this point.

Again, very few -- very minor criminal history is what we have in his background. And apart from just a couple months ago, showing up at the FBI Office in Anchorage and exhibiting signs of mental illness, that it appears to be the extent of the law enforcement contact, significant law enforcement contact, that this suspect had until today. Jim?

SCIUTTO: You're looking at the face there, in that photograph of Esteban Santiago, the suspect in this shooting that left five people dead, and many others injured. That is it for THE LEAD. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Jake Tapper. We're going to continue to follow this breaking news story. I turn you over now to Wolf Blitzer. He is in, as always, "THE SITUATION ROOM".

WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: "HAPPENING NOW", breaking news. Airport attack. A gunman opens fire at Florida's Fort Lauderdale --