Accused Airport Gunman Has Hearing On Mental Health Issues

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage inside Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is due back in court on Wednesday.

Esteban Santiago has a hearing concerning his mental health issues.

His attorneys say he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, but add he is competent to stand trial.

Santiago is accused of killing five people and injuring six others on January 6th in a baggage claim area of Terminal 2.

A Grand Jury indicted the 26-year-old on 22 counts; eleven counts of performing an act of violence against a person at an airport serving international civil aviation that caused death or serious bodily injury, six counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and five counts of causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm.

The FBI says that after Santiago flew from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale, he took a 9mm handgun out of a checked gun box, loaded it in a bathroom and emerged firing.

He reportedly confessed to the shooting during questioning. Santiago allegedly said he had been in Jihadist chat rooms and had been in contact with the dark web and deep net. He reportedly told his interrogators that he was in contact with ISIL and these like-minded individuals were all planning attacks.

Last November, Santiago walked into an FBI field office in Alaska and said that he was hearing voices, the U.S. government was controlling his mind and they were forcing him to watch Islamic State group videos

His medical records show he spent several days at a psychiatric facility in Anchorage. The records show he was only given anti-anxiety medication and melatonin. No psychiatric medication was prescribed.

During his arraignment, Santiago formally entered a plea of not guilty.

He could face the death penalty if convicted.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo
TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press
contributed to this report.)

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