The Broward Sheriff’s Office has released a 30-page report relating to the Shooting at Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on January 6 this year. Part of the information released airs the fact that moments before Esteban Santiago killed five people and injured six more, he received a page from Delta Air Lines to pick up his gun.

According to the Sun-Sentinel – who obtained the report – after receiving the page, Santiago went to the Delta Air Lines desk, collected his gun and headed into a bathroom. When he came out, he started shooting.

As stated by the newspaper, the information relating to the airline was a previously unknown and jarring detail in what is the deadliest shooting to take place at an airport in the US. The newspaper attempted to contact Delta Air Lines for comment, but reportedly without success.

Radio problems gave impression of a second shooter

The report also contained details of radio problems experienced by law enforcement officials, as well as the general havoc in the airport, as 2,000 officials arrived on the scene of the shooting. After Santiago was apprehended, incorrect reports of additional gunfire were broadcast, which made it seem there was more than one shooter.

This was after a Customs and Border Protection officer believed he had heard shots and contacted a fire rescue captain to advise him. The captain then broadcast the news that Border Patrol was reporting “shots fired in Terminal 2.”

Passengers fled from all terminals at the airport in a panic after the words “shots fired” were heard, with thousands of airline and airport employees all trying to escape, along with many travelers from all four of the airport’s terminals, baggage claim areas, gates, concourses, and parking garages.

Reportedly, the problems occurred as state, federal, and local officials converged at the airport at once. The number of users caused the radio system to go into a “fail-soft” mode, which caused all connections between the responding agencies to be lost. When dispatchers failed to reconnect the groups quickly, they were told to stop transmitting until radio bridges were restored.

The process reportedly took around four minutes, but when restored, it resulted in garbled transmissions where officials could only hear parts of phrases and words.

Report to assess the situation and make suggestions

The New York Daily News reports that Sheriff Scott Israel had said the purpose of the report is to review and assess events that happened that day in an objective way. Various suggestions were made for a better handling of this type of situation. One of these included earpieces for law enforcement so that passengers do not overhear and possibly misinterpret radio broadcasts. Another recommendation was that at least one terminal should be quickly cleared and reopened so that passengers can be moved there and have some comfort and restrooms available. This would clearly reduce anxiety and prevent panic.