MiamiHerald / In January of last year, Esteban Santiago went into a men’s bathroom at Fort Lauderdale’s airport, loaded a handgun, put it in his waistband and fired off 15 rounds at travelers’ heads and bodies.
After emptying two magazines, Santiago killed five people and wounded six others in about two minutes. And then, after he was stopped by a police officer, he soon confessed “he shot the first people he encountered.”
Santiago also admitted to investigators that he “was able to appreciate the nature and quality and the wrongfulness of his acts,” in a critical passage of his plea agreement filed this week in Miami federal court..
In other words, the 28-year-old military veteran was of sound mind when he shot all those people at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in the baggage claim area on Jan. 6, 2017. That acknowledgment, coupled with a psychologist’s conclusion that Santiago was mentally “competent,” paved the way for him to plead guilty on Wednesday before a Miami federal judge.