The below TMZ.com video of the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting is gaining plenty of views. The graphic video shows a man walking in the Fort Lauderdale Airport as he speaks on the phone, with two children casually walking beside him. All of a sudden, 26-year-old Esteban Ruiz Santiago enters the frame of the video, and the graphic footage shows Esteban pulling a gun from his waistband and shooting.
Warning: The below video, titled “Video of First Shots in Ft. Lauderdale,” is graphic and could be disturbing to some viewers.
The above mugshot was released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which displayed Santiago on Saturday, January 7, in Fort Lauderdale. On Facebook, a variety of reactions are flowing into the social media platform about the video of the first shots fired in Fort Lauderdale. Conspiracy theories are already floating around, with at least one person writing that they didn’t believe it was a security camera that captured the video — despite the obvious angle from up high — but claimed that someone else recorded the footage from a cell phone.
As reported by TMZ, the website acquired the video footage of the first shots being fired, with TMZ reporting that they have only released the few seconds that led up to the first shots being fired and the panic that happened after those first shots. As noted by TMZ and most folks commenting on the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooting video, Esteban seemed to walk along pretty casually before Santiago pulled out his gun and began shooting people at the airport. Esteban used a 9mm handgun to kill five people in the shooting.
Fort Lauderdale airport shooting suspect faces death penalty https://t.co/mqXUZGEmrr— TIME (@TIME) January 8, 2017
The backlash has already begun in the comments section on social media, with some people criticizing TMZ for obtaining and releasing the video. TMZ did not specify how they obtained the video, and whether or not TMZ paid anyone at Fort Lauderdale Airport for the security footage of the shooting. With TMZ stating that the publication is only releasing the first few seconds of the shooting melee, it’s likely that there is more graphic footage of the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in existence that isn’t being shown.
Video of First Shots in Ft. Lauderdale Shooting (VIDEO) https://t.co/G2VJYqCtoJ— TMZ (@TMZ) January 8, 2017
In the above video, Esteban’s actions sends seniors into shock it seems, with many folks seen diving for cover or getting down behind signs near the baggage carousel to try and save their own lives. As reported by Heavy, many of the victims of Ruiz Santiago were folks that planned to go on a cruise. Instead, they fell victim to Esteban, who opened fire on Friday, January 6. Beyond killing five people, Esteban wounded others in the shooting at the Florida airport. According to Santiago’s family, Esteban suffered from mental health problems that developed after he served time in Iraq in the military. Esteban was receiving treatment in Alaska for his mental health issues before opening fire on people in the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Meanwhile, TMZ‘s video of the shooting, which was published on Sunday, January 8, received nearly 2,000 views within minutes since it was uploaded to YouTube. The video is also receiving some criticisms aimed at TMZ for releasing the footage.
“The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter walked casually through baggage claim before suddenly pulling his gun out and wreaking havoc.”
A sampling of the comments found on social media about the TMZ video can be read below.
: “You guys didn’t have to watch it either.”
Gregory: “Insensitive jerks. Nobody wants to see this.”
Rob Gonzalez: “He was suffering from PTSD Afghanistan veteran! Too many soldiers need our help but are turned away!”
[Featured Image by Broward Sheriff’s Office/AP Images]