Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting Suspect Has Mental Health Hearing

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

The hearing concerns 27-year-old Esteban Santiago’s mental health issues.

Santiago’s attorneys have said he’s fit to stand trial despite a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The hearing is one of several a federal judge is holding on Santiago’s health status.

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, Alaska 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.

No terrorist links have been found.

The Justice Department could seek the death penalty, but the trial is many months away.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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