Fort Lauderdale airport shooter pleads not guilty to 22 charges


  • Photo via Broward County Sheriff's Office
Esteban Santiago, the Iraq war veteran accused of fatally shooting five people at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, pleaded not guilty to 22 charges in federal court Monday.

The Sun Sentinel reports Santiago, 26, has been charged with five counts of causing death at an international airport, six counts of causing serious bodily injury at an international airport, five counts of causing death during a crime of violence and six counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence.

Santiago is accused of killing Mary Louise Amzibel, 69; Michael John Oehme, 57; Olga M. Woltering, 84; Shirley Wells Timmons; and Terry Michael Andres, 62. He's also charged with injuring six others, including relatives of the deceased.

The Sentinel reports federal authorities are still mulling over terrorism charges against Santiago because he reportedly told agents he was in contact with ISIS, though officials have not confirmed this. Months before the attack, Santiago went to the FBI office in Alaska where he told agents the U.S. government was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch ISIS videos. He was voluntarily hospitalized and his gun was taken away. The same gun, returned to him a month later by local police in Alaska, was used in the mass shooting.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.