*Esteban receives life behind bars
Esteban Santiago, Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooter Receives Sentence
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Esteban Santiago, Fort Lauderdale Airport shooter, was sentenced today. He plead guilty to lesser charges and managed to avoid the death penalty, but will receive life in prison, authorities announced Tuesday.
Esteban Santiago killed five people, and wounded six others when he held the airport hostage last year. According to the indictment, Santiago flew on a one-way ticket from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale with a 9 mm handgun in a box he put in checked luggage. After landing he retrieved the weapon, loaded it in a bathroom and came out firing randomly until he exhausted his ammunition.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Del Toro said the agreement was approved by senior Justice Department officials and in consultation with families of the slain victims. In the federal system, all prosecutions in which the death penalty is a possibility must be approved by the attorney general.
Santiago, a National Guard Iraq veteran, was treated at an Anchorage psychiatric hospital last year after he showed up at the local FBI office saying he was under CIA mind control and was hearing voices. He was released after a brief stay and given anti-anxiety medicine.
His gun, which had been confiscated by police during that time, was returned to him and was used a few weeks later in the Florida shooting.