Fox News DEVELOPING – Five people are dead and a shooting suspect is in custody Friday after a lone gunman opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida without saying a word, witnesses and authorities say.
A shooting took place around 1 p.m. local time and 8 people who were injured were transported to hospitals, the Broward County Sheriff said. The city’s mayor said there was only one shooter involved.
Confirmed: Shooting at Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood International Airport with multiple people dead. One subject in custody.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) January 6, 2017
“It was very surreal,” John Schlicher, a witness, told Fox News. “He did not say a word.”
Shots fired at Ft Lauderdale Airport, suspect reportedly in custody pic.twitter.com/o0zVdI91Um
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) January 6, 2017
The entire incident lasted around 5 minutes — but as of 2:20 p.m. local time, gunfire erupted again, Schlicher said.
While speaking to Shepard Smith live on Fox News, Schlicher said he heard crews ordering passengers to take cover. He spoke over the phone while ducked down on the floor.
I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 6, 2017
Schlicher described the shooter as a slender man with dark hair, likely in his 30s, wearing a Star Wars T-shirt.
“He was shooting people that were down on the ground, too,” Schlicher said when talking about the earlier incident.
The airport had tweeted that there is an “ongoing incident” at the Terminal 2 baggage claim and that all services are temporarily suspended.
Crews evacuated hundreds of passengers from the terminal onto the tarmac.
Ari Fleischer, a former White House spokesman, was at the airport at the time of the earlier shooting and tweeted that “everyone is running.”
Jillian Saunders, from Palm Beach, Florida, told The Associated Press in direct Twitter messages that she was watching the activity from the tarmac in a plane scheduled to fly to Los Angeles.
“Everything you see on the news is happening outside my window,” she said. “I am luckily on the plane and they said we are right now the safest people at the airport.”
The office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott said state law enforcement have not confirmed a motive behind the shooting. Scott is traveling to the scene to be briefed by law enforcement.
The ATF is responding to the scene. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was monitoring the shooting and getting regular updates — part of standard practice, a federal law enforcement source told Fox News.
The airport is the 21st busiest in the United States and serves 21 different airlines. Nearly 2.5 million people passed through the airport in November, according to a county government report.