Hours after the tragic attack on Friday in the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport that killed five and injured at least eight people, President Barack Obama told George Stephanopoulos “these kinds of tragedies have happened too often during the eight years that I’ve been president.”
Speaking to Stephanopoulos, 55, for ABC’s This Week, Obama said he would not comment on the incident “until I have all the information” but he did want to express “how heartbroken we are for the families who have been affected.”
“The pain, the grief, the shock that they must be going through is enormous,” he told Stephanopoulos.
Obama, 55, added that his staff has reached out to the mayor of Fort Lauderdale “to make sure that coordination between state and local officials is what it should be.”
“I think we’ll find out over the next 24 hours exactly how this happened and what motivated this individual,” Obama continued.
Gunshots broke out on Friday at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. The Broward County Sheriff confirmed via Twitter that multiple people have been killed and the suspect is in custody. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN that 13 people were transported to local hospitals.
The suspected shooter used a gun he retrieved from baggage he checked on a Delta flight to the airport, a federal law enforcement official tells PEOPLE.
A federal law enforcement official tells PEOPLE the suspect is Esteban Santiago, 26. He is of Puerto Rican descent. He arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Friday, on a Delta red-eye flight originating from Anchorage via Minneapolis, with checked baggage containing a firearm.
He picked up the checked firearm at baggage claim, before allegedly going to the bathroom, gathering his weapon and changing into a Star Wars shirt. He then exited the bathroom and allegedly began firing at those around the baggage carousel. Santiago had a military ID on him when he was taken into police custody.
The shooter was discharged from the Army last year on a general discharge, the official says.
Santiago was apprehended by a Broward County sheriff’s deputy and taken into custody, Sheriff Scott Israel said at a Friday press conference. Israel added that the gunman, who wasn’t hit by gunfire, is being interviewed by FBI agents and Broward County sheriff’s deputies.