This is the moment the Fort Lauderdale killer pulled out his handgun and started firing at innocent passengers.
Esteban Santiago, 26, shot dead five people and wounded six more when he opened fire inside the baggage claim at Terminal 2 of the Florida airport on Friday afternoon.
Shocking surveillance footage, first obtained by TMZ, shows the Iraq war veteran calmly walk into shot before pulling the pistol from his waistband.
He then begins firing, appearing to be aiming initially at a man in front of him.
Santiago then runs out of the frame as people desperately take shelter.
The 26-year-old could face the death penalty after being accused of an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, and weapons charges.
Santiago flew into the airport from Anchorage, Alaska – with a layover in Minneapolis-St Paul – on Delta flight 2182 with a firearm as his only piece of checked luggage, in accordance with TSA regulations, authorities believe.
The 26-year-old, who was dressed in a Star Wars T-shirt, claimed his bag, went to the bathroom to load his handgun and then started shooting people dead, according to the county commissioner.
Witnesses said the gunman sprayed bullets around then lay down on the floor spread-eagled, awaiting arrest.
It has also been revealed that FBI agents took Santiago’s gun off him when he went into an Alaska field office in November to say the government was controlling his mind.
But it was returned to him just a month later, and law enforcement will not reveal why.
U.S Attorney Wifredo Ferrer formally announced Santiago’s charges on Saturday.
Ferrer said: ‘Today’s charges represent the gravity of the situation and reflect the commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to continually protect the community and prosecute those who target our residents and visitors’.
Authorities said during a news conference that they had interviewed roughly 175 people, including a lengthy interrogation with the cooperative suspect, a former National Guard soldier from Alaska.
Santiago spoke to investigators for several hours after he opened fire with a Walther 9mm semi-automatic handgun that he legally checked on a flight from Alaska.
He had two magazines with him and emptied both of them, firing about 15 rounds, before he was arrested, the complaint said.
‘We have not identified any triggers that would have caused this attack. We’re pursuing all angles on what prompted him to carry out this horrific attack,’ FBI Agent George Piro said.
Investigators are combing through social media and other information to determine Santiago’s motive, and it’s too early to say whether terrorism played a role, Piro said.
In November, Santiago had walked into an FBI field office in Alaska saying the U.S. government was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch Islamic State group videos, authorities said.
It has also been revealed he was being prosecuted for breaking through a locked bathroom door to allegedly strangle and hit his 40-year-old girlfriend.
The alleged attack took place almost a year before he the massacre on Friday.
Santiago’s girlfriend had been in the bathroom when she says he began yelling at her.
He had then forced his way into the locked bathroom, breaking the door frame in the process, shouting at her to ‘Get the f**k out b***h,’ she claims.
Santiago began ‘strangling’ his girlfriend and ‘smacking her in the side of the head’, according to court documents obtained by Heavy.
By the time police arrived, Santiago had fled the scene.
The Iraq war veteran was arrested a few days later and released on deferred prosecution status – where prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges in exchange for Esteban’s completion of certain conditions which included that he did not contact his girlfriend.
Law enforcement sources also told CBS News that Santiago was investigated for child pornography at some point between 2011 or 2012. Three weapons and a computer were seized, but no charges were filed, sources said.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the incident was another brutal reminder that more needs to be done to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental issues.
‘We keep learning more about how to deal with this kind of illness, we’re gonna learn more and we have to do more,’ he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
‘The so-called invisible wounds of war — are something we do take seriously and we have to take seriously.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Liam Quinn