13 flights diverted from Fort Lauderdale to OIA, others canceled

- Thirteen flights were diverted from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando on Friday, after a man opened fire in the baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale airport, killing five people and wounding eight.

The gunman -- identified by authorities as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, an Army National Guard veteran who served in Iraq but was demoted and discharged last year for unsatisfactory performance -- was immediately taken into custody. His brother said he had been receiving psychological treatment recently.

"I feel very blessed. God was with me," said Barbara Flood. 

That's how Flood says she feels in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

"I was in the terminal.  I was scared.  Everybody wants to know what's happening ... cause to see that many people run out of the airport ... it was you know, unusual," Flood tells FOX 35.  "Now I'm a little shaky... I was so glad to get out of there." 

Flood was on the last Silver Airways flight to leave Ft. Lauderdale before the airport was shutdown.

With the airport shutdown, hundreds didn't make their flight.   In addition to the diverted flights, five flights from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale were canceled all together, forcing South Florida resident Rudolfo Rodriguez drive back home. 

"This world is becoming a very ugly place to live unfortunately, the least of my worries is driving home three  hours."

The Fort Lauderdale International Airport remained closed during the rest of the evening.  It was not immediately known when operations would resume. 

In response to the shooting, officials at Orlando International Airport say they have increased surveillance and security presence in and outside of the main terminal.  

Broward County and Fort Lauderdale airport officials have established a toll free call center at 866-435-9355 for information on passengers and family.

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