Fort Lauderdale airport shooting: Suspected gunman said government controlled his mind

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A law enforcement official says the Florida airport gunman told the FBI in November that the government was controlling his mind and was forcing him to watch Islamic State group videos.

The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity.

The official says agents in Anchorage completed their interview with 26-year-old Esteban Santiago and called the police, who took him for a mental health evaluation.

The FBI's Anchorage field office said in a statement that it was aware Santiago was an Anchorage resident and that it was assisting in the investigation, but it declined to comment further.

Santiago is accused of opening fire in a baggage claim area at the airport. Five people were killed and eight wounded.

Chief of police at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport told The Associated Press that  Santiago flew out of Anchorage, Alaska, on a 9:52 p.m. Delta flight Thursday, and that a firearm was his only piece of checked luggage. He says Santiago flew from Anchorage to Minneapolis-St. Paul and on to Fort Lauderdale.

Davis said Santiago didn't call attention to himself and "as far as we can tell" traveled alone, but he said the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities are trying to track Santiago's movements through Alaska's largest commercial airport using video footage.

Meanwhile, a military spokeswoman says the suspect received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard last year for unsatisfactory performance.

Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead did not release details about Santiago's discharge in August 2016. Olmstead said that he joined the Guard in November 2014.

Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen said that Santiago was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla.

Olmstead also said that Santiago had served in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard.

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