MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man accused of going on a shooting rampage at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing five people and injuring six others, was fired from his job as a security guard in Alaska because of mental health issues.
The new information is contained in the security guard application Esteban Santiago filed last summer for a license from the state of Alaska so he could work at Signal 88 Security in Anchorage.
The state released the application Monday.
Santiago is charged in the fatal shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport on January 6th. He’s accused of flying overnight from Anchorage to Florida. After arriving, he retrieved his gun from checked baggage, when into a bathroom and came out shooting in a baggage claim area. A trial date is set October 2nd in Miami.
Santiago moved to Anchorage from his native Puerto Rico, where he was in the National Guard.
Santiago was charged in a domestic violence case in January 2016 when his girlfriend said he broke through a bathroom door and at struck her in the head at their small Anchorage home. He agreed to take part in a deferred sentence program, which included completing a 12-week anger management course. If all requirements were completed by March 2017, the state would dismiss the charges, but he hasn’t completed the requirements.
Santiago listed the domestic violence incident on one line of his July 14, 2016, application to the state for a security guard license, but added, “No charge.”
On September 19th, 2016, Will Serra, who is listed as the owner of Signal 88 Security of Anchorage, filed a status change/disclosure form with the state regarding Santiago that details more of Santiago’s criminal history. The handwritten criminal history is poorly punctuated, but it appears to incorrectly say charges in the domestic violence case were dismissed the same day they were filed.
About six weeks later, on November 7th, Santiago showed up at the Anchorage FBI office, complaining of voices in his head and of government mind control. The FBI handed him off to Anchorage police, which took him for a five-day hold at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. Santiago gave them his gun for safekeeping so no one would steal it out of his car.
The gun was returned to him in December, and authorities say it was the same weapon used in the Florida shooting.
Signal 88 Security fired Santiago on November 15th, just days after he was released from the hospital, according to a copy of the employee separation form Serra sent to the state after the airport massacre.
“Due to Esteban Santiago’s current documented mental illness, affecting his judgment and reason, he is disqualified to be licensed as a (sic) unarmed security officer in the state of Alaska,” the form signed by Serra reads.
However, the form also notes Santiago would be eligible for rehire only “if a clean bill of mental fitness was provided by a licensed medical practitioner.”
State officials say there are no additional documents regarding applications and licensing as an unarmed security guard for Santiago.
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