FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — People caught in the chaos in the deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport looked to 911 operators for help and now deputies have released those calls.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office had released some earlier this week.
Calls came in from nervous passengers and workers who hid after several people were shot in the baggage area of Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
“I am in the Ft Lauderdale Airport and somebody hollered gun and I don’t know what’s going on,” a nervous woman told a 911 operator.
Then a series of calls came into 911 from people who said they had barricaded themselves inside offices, closets, and bathrooms to hide from a suspected shooter.
“We’re in a storage unit cause everybody started running cause we heard shots fired,” a breathless caller told the 911 operator.
A Delta Airlines employee said he was in a room with the door locked along with other workers who were afraid to leave. They didn’t know of the carnage one floor below in Terminal 2.
“We’re Delta Airlines flight attendants and pilots. We’re stuck in the Fort Lauderdale briefing room. There’s pandemonium going on with guns drawn outside,” the caller said.
Some of those barricaded begged the operators to tell police to shout a code word so they will know it’s law enforcement coming to rescue them and not a shooter at the door.
“When they come, I need them to holler ‘spunky’ that way I know it’s an officer outside the door,” a woman explained to a dispatcher.
In one of the calls, you could hear the operators trying to help scared passengers. Other operators urged callers to hide and barricade themselves where they could.
One caller was in Terminal 3 during the shooting, trying to find cover inside a store.
“People are freaking out,” said the caller.
“I want you to stay down…try to hide somewhere,” said the operator.
“The TSA agents are telling us to get out,” says the caller.
“If you’re with someone who’s armed and they’re telling you what to do, I am telling you what my supervisors tell me to do. Try to stay where you’re at and bear for yourself. If not, if they give you other instructions then listen to them but I am telling you what I was told to tell you,” replied the operator.
“This is crazy,” said the caller.
“I understand and I am sorry for what’s going on for you…I am just trying to help you as best as I can,” said the operator.
“They’re running to the jetway…I think they’re sending us down jetways,” said the caller.
Another caller asked an operator to help her with her daughter.
“I need one of your coworkers to call my daughter’s school because I had to pick her up at 3 o’clock,” a caller said with urgency as she tried to hide.
“What’s your daughter’s name? What’s the school’s number,” replied the operator.
Others called for family that was at the airport – terrified of what would happen to them.
“My mom is at the Fort Lauderdale Airport and she called me right now that she’s one of the people that works at the airport and they’re shooting exactly where she’s at right now. There’s a shooting right now and she just called me scared,” said the caller while sobbing. “My mom’s there.”
“Where exactly is she at terminal 4 sweetheart. Do you know,” asked the operator.
“She’s in terminal 4. She’s hidden,” said the caller.
“Okay just stay on the phone with me. Don’t hang up,” replied the operator.
“Please get somebody there. Please,” said the caller while crying.
Santiago pleaded not guilty this week to 22 federal charges and is being held at the federal detention center in downtown Miami.
The shooting also left thousands of travelers stranded at the airport and on the tarmac for hours.