The Florida airport shooting suspect has been charged and could face the death penalty

The suspected Florida airport gunman was charged by federal prosecutors on Saturday in connection to the mass shooting that killed five and wounded six the previous day.

Esteban Santiago, 26, could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if he is convicted of the charges, which include performing an act of violence at an international airport resulting in bodily harm, as well as firearms violations.

Santiago is set to appear in court Monday in Fort Lauderdale.

Federal authorities alleged earlier on Saturday that Santiago appears to have traveled to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport specifically to carry out the attack, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors said Santiago pulled out a handgun in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area and began shooting at the newly arrived passengers, aiming at their heads until he used up his ammunition.

The suspect then dropped the gun on the ground after being confronted by a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy, and was arrested, prosecutors said.

Investigators said it’s unclear why the Florida airport was chosen as the target, and they have not ruled out terrorism as a potential motive.

Authorities said Santiago was previously known to the FBI, having officers at a field office in Alaska in November. He reportedly told officers the federal government was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch ISIS videos, according to the Associated Press.

Officers then seized a gun Santiago had left in his car – with his newborn child – and took him to get a mental health evaluation. The returned the gun to Santiago on Dec. 8, but it’s unclear whether it was the same gun used in Friday’s massacre.

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