Florida airport shooting: What we know so far about the events in Fort Lauderdale

Updated: 

Five people have died after a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida.

The authorities gave no details on a possible motive for the shooting, which left eight other people wounded.

The attack sent panicked passengers running out of the terminal and onto the tarmac.

Here's what we know so far:

The gunman was allegedly carrying military ID.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida claimed the gunman was carrying military ID in the name of Esteban Santiago, but that it was unclear whether it was his.

"We don't know a motive at this point," Nelson said. "This could well be someone who is mentally deranged, or in fact it could be someone who had a much more sinister motive that we have to worry about every day, and that is terrorism. We can't conclude that."

Mark Lea, a witness at the scene, told MSNBC the gunman said nothing as he "went up and down the carousels of the baggage claim, shooting through luggage to get at people that were hiding". He had a handgun and went through about three magazines of ammunition.

The attacker is now in custody.

People stand on the tarmac at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport .
People stand on the tarmac at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Eyewitness say the attacker threw down his weapon and lay spread-eagle on the ground until he was taken into custody.

Chip LaMarca, a Broward County commissioner, was briefed on the airport shooting by Broward Sheriff's office. He said that the shooter had arrived in Fort Lauderdale aboard a Canadian flight with a gun in a checked bag.

"After he claimed his bag, he went into the bathroom and loaded the gun and started shooting. We don't know why," LaMarca said.

Sheriff Scott Israel said the gunman was arrested unharmed, with no law enforcement officers firing any shots, and was being questioned by the FBI.

Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been briefed.

Law enforcement officers are shown outside Fort Lauderdale.
Law enforcement officers at the scene (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

The White House said President Barack Obama was briefed by his Homeland Security adviser.

President-elect Donald Trump said he was monitoring the situation and that he had spoken with Florida governor Rick Scott.

The attack took place at terminal 2.

People stand on the tarmac at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The airport suspended operations following the incident (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Terminal 2 serves Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.

The airport suspended operations as law enforcement authorities rushed to the scene and emergency medical workers treated at least one bleeding victim on the tarmac.

Flights already in the air and headed for the airport were delayed or diverted, and those that had yet to take off for Fort Lauderdale were held on the ground.