It has been confirmed that the shooter in the Fort Lauderdale airport had has his gun returned to him after a mental health evaluation in 2016. The startling revelation has been released after it appears that Mr Santiago had walked in to an FBI office in Alaska in November last year, at the time he appeared to be incoherent.
It appears that whilst under evaluation Mr Santiago had admitted to hearing voices and believed that he was under control of a government agency. The local FBI decided that he had committed no crime and returned his gun. Though in their defence they’ve claimed that there is no proof that the gun used was the one that was returned.
It is likely that the local FBI will come under intense scrutiny for allowing the man back on to the streets when he clearly had mental health issues. The fact that they also then returned his weapon is certain to cause significant scrutiny.
As further details begin to come out, the picture that is beginning to be drawn is that Mr Santiago had served in Iraq for the National guard and was honourably discharged in 2016. It also appears that since leaving he’s been receiving psychological help. As happens with alarming regularity it appears that Mr Santiago was suffering from some kind of stress related mental health disorder.
Whilst the investigation continues, operations have restarted at the airport. Though currently the airport is having to sort through 20,000 items of luggage. It posted in a tweet they addressed the issue and described the situation as “complex and time-consuming process”.
After he was interviews extensively overnight is appears that Mr Santiago decided to choose the airport specifically. The reason for the specific airport is unknown, and authorities have also stated that they cannot rule out terrorism as a reason for the attack. Though it doesn’t appear that it is the case. At least at first look.
Though it is highly likely that this will focus the attention of the US back on to the issue of weapons, and also on to the treatment of military veterans after serving. The military is often criticised for its lack of care to discharged personnel and this case is hardly likely to help defend against that criticism.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.