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Five people dead after gunman opens fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport

The shooter had served in the US military, but been discharged for unsatisfactory performance.

Airport Shooting Florida Police at the scene Lynne Sladky / AP Lynne Sladky / AP / AP

Updated 11.10pm

FIVE PEOPLE HAVE been killed after a gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida, according to the local Sheriff’s office.

A further eight people were taken to hospital with injuries.

The shooter is in police custody.

A military spokeswoman said the suspect received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard last year for unsatisfactory performance.

Lieutenant colonel Candis Olmstead did not release details about 26-year-old Esteban Santiago’s discharge in August 2016. Olmstead said that he joined the Guard in November 2014.

Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Major Paul Dahlen said 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.

512x A victim being taken to hospital Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Airport Shooting Florida Lynne Sladky / AP Lynne Sladky / AP / AP

Calls about the shooting were made to police just before 1pm local time (6pm Irish time).

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN: ”We have no evidence at this time that [the gunman] was acting with anyone else. He is currently in custody and we’re investigating.”

Miami area television stations are reporting that at least nine people were shot.

Footage from news helicopters showed hundreds of people standing on the tarmac as an ambulance drove by and numerous law enforcement officers rushed to the scene.

Ari Fleischer, a former White House Press Secretary, is at the airport and said people were running from the scene after shots were fired.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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Associated Foreign Press
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