FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – South Florida marked a somber anniversary this weekend.
It was one year ago Saturday, on December 6th 2017, when a lone gunman opened fire inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
At the scene of that mass shooting, a moment of silence was held Saturday for those who were lost. A time to pay tribute and to remember.
It was one year ago that accused gunman Esteban Santiago drew his weapon inside the baggage claim and began to randomly gun down innocent bystanders.
When he was subdued just two minutes later, five people were dead and another six had suffered gunshot wounds.
35 more would be hurt in the evacuation that followed as panicked passengers tried to flee.
“I don’t think anyone thought of planning for evacuating an entire airport,” said Broward County mayor Beam Furr.
An independent review of the events of that day found that poor planning, training, communication and a lack of passenger help made the crisis at the airport even worse.
Which is why throughout the rest of 2017, union members have been working with the Broward County Commission to implement changes to keep airport employees and the 33 million passengers who pass through the airport every year safer than they’ve ever been before.
Those changes include an upgraded emergency operations center, new communications protocols, including earpieces for responders, workers undergoing security awareness training, a new public alert warning system and an active shooter drill to be held this April.
But even with all of these changes, the airport, the county and local law enforcement are asking the public to be their best eyes and ears.
A lesson Kim Cameron learned the day of the shooting.
“We talk about it,” Cameron said. “It was a horrifying day but I think people are much more aware of what’s around them.”
The accused gunman pled not guilty to 22 felonies connected with the shooting and is due back in court in June.