Spurred By Islamic State 'Control'
"People started kind of screaming and trying to get out of any door they could or hide under the chairs."
"He just kind of continued coming in, just randomly shooting at people, no rhyme or reason to it."
"[He] went up and down the carousels of the baggage claim, shooting through luggage to get at people that were hiding."
"He threw the gun down and laid-spread-eagle on the ground until the officer came up to him."
Mark Lea, witness to airport shooting, Florida
"The guy must have been standing over me at one point. I could smell the gunpowder. I thought I was about to feel a piercing pain or nothing at all because I would have been dead."
Bruce Hugon, witness to airport shooting, Florida
"After he claimed his bag, he went into the bathroom and loaded the gun and started shooting. We don't know why."
Chip LaMarca, Broward County commissioner
"The person next to me fell to the ground and then I started hearing other pops. And as this happened, other people started falling and you could hear it and smell it, and people on either side of me were going down and I just dropped to the ground."
"There were elderly people who were shot and killed, there were two people to my left and two people to my right that were shot."
"He walked over and he was right in our area, like within just feet of us, shooting people. I didn't know if I would be shot or if my wife or my mother-in-law would either."
"I was down on the floor. When we finally looked up there was a policeman standing over me. That's when I assumed it was safe."
John Schilcher, witness to airport shooting, Florida
|Broward Sheriff's Office|
People going about their business, anticipating vacation time, travelling as people normally do, on passenger airliners, routinely expecting aside from travel irritations to arrive at their destination in a timely manner. They would, of course, not begin to imagine that someone would follow perfectly legal procedures for the airport, checking his baggage with its singular and sole item, a firearm, then retrieve it, load it, and launch a shooting spree because he fantasized that Islamic State expected him to.
And the result of that is that five of those unassuming travellers intent on reaching their destination never will. Life snuffed out just like that; suddenly, violently, shockingly, in the most public of venues. If the man being portrayed as delusional vented his obligations to Islamic State to his satisfaction, he may not have been fully aware that as a true follower of ISIL he should not have hesitated to continue confronting authorities by death-defying defiance.
Slaughtering innocents is generally held under Islamic State to accompany martyrdom in a demonstration that life is subordinate to death under the rules glorifying Islamist jihad. Instead, this admiring pretender of Islamic State chose to salvage whatever was left of his own life by total surrender, perhaps in the knowledge that the plea of insanity, or the acting out of insanity would preserve his life under the rules of democratic justice.
Six other unfortunates wounded by gunfire and over 30 people suffered injuries caused by the explosive panic resulting from the shootout. It was clearly not an auspicious day to travel through Fort Lauderdale in the sand-and-sunshine state.
|Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP|