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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Esteban Santiago provided a Florida driver’s license when he applied for a gun permit in Puerto Rico, according to court records obtained by the Sun Sentinel.
So did the 26-year-old accused airport gunman ever live in Florida?
Official records show he didn’t.
It raises questions about federal laws and procedures concerning identity and combating terrorism.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows Santiago obtained the ID in August 2012 and it expires in 2021. Two months later he applied for the weapons permit in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
Even more odd, the ID lists his “prior state and driver license number” as “foreign country.”
Obtaining Florida ID’s require several forms of documentation to prove residence, including a birth certificate or passport, Social Security card and two items mailed to their Florida address, like utility bills.
Santiago was born in New Jersey and lived in Puerto Rico and Alaska. He was an American citizen and his military history hasn’t revealed any records of residency in Florida, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Questions also still remain why the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport was targeted in the attack that killed five and wounded six.
Bryan Santiago, the accused shooter’s brother, told the newspaper that they have half brothers in Naples and that Esteban was recently invited to live with one of them. Bryan added that he may have been flying to Florida to visit them prior to the attack.
Esteban Santiago told authorities that he bought a one-way ticket to Ft. Lauderdale and planned out the attack.
Investigators are now looking through his life to learn more about this young man.
Family knew him as a patriotic citizen and father of a newborn, who was affected by his tour in Iraq. Others who knew him in Alaska noticed odd behavior. Authorities have painted him as a disturbed individual, who spoke of CIA mind control and hearing voices. FBI agent Michael Ferlazzo said he told them he was inspired by Islamic State-related chatrooms and websites. At a court hearing, Ferlazzo said records showed he was prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
Santiago could get the death penalty if convicted.