Gunman in Florida Airport Shooting Sentenced to Life in Prison

Gunman in Florida Airport Shooting Sentenced to Life in Prison

The Iraq War veteran who killed five people and wounded six others in a 2017 shooting rampage at the main airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will spend the rest of his days in federal prison.

Santiago, 28, fired 15 shots at passengers picking up their luggage in the baggage claim area, aiming at their heads and bodies in a January 6, 2017 attack.

Under a deal with prosecutors that was approved by a federal judge, he escaped the death penalty and will instead be sentenced to five consecutive life terms followed by 120 years in prison, without the right of appeal.

Several family members of victims - many of whom were on their way to cruise ship vacations - spoke in court Friday, describing their deep sense of loss for those who died and some discussing the health struggles of shooting survivors.

"We did not get a chance to say goodbye", said Julie Beauchamp, the daughter of Mary Louise Amzibel, 69, of DE, who was killed in the shooting.

"To the coward who murdered my husband and our daughter's father, we had no chance against your bullets, we had nowhere to hide", she read, "I'm am certain that on the day you die your soul will rot in eternal damnation for what you've done".

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Esteban Santiago, 28, pleaded guilty to five counts of committing acts of violence at an global airport causing death and six counts of committing acts of violence at an worldwide airport causing serious bodily injury. Santiago served in the National Guard in Iraq.

It got little sympathy from the judge who said that shortly after the shooting when asked by detectives if he had any remorse Santiago replied, "not really".

Santiago is responsible for deadliest airport shooting in USA history.

He faced federal charges because the January 6, 2017, shooting was carried out inside of an worldwide civilian airport. Esteban, who had flown from Anchorage, Alaska, to Fort Lauderdale, carried out the attack in one minute and 25 seconds before surrendering to a Broward County deputy sheriff at the airport.

However, FBI agents and prosecutors said they found no actual links between Santiago and the Islamic State and therefore did not charge him with providing support to the terrorist organization in the indictment.

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