Florida airport shooter sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in prison

Credit: Lynne Sladky

Credit: Lynne Sladky

An Alaska man who opened fire at a Florida airport in January 2017 was sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in prison on Friday, WTVJ reported.

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Esteban Santiago, 28, pleaded guilty in May to the shooting in the baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left five people dead and six injured, the television station reported.

Santiago's guilty plea to 11 charges in May was accepted in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty, WPLG reported.

Santiago, an Iraq War veteran from Anchorage, Alaska, admitted he opened fire after surrendering to authorities, WTVJ reported. It was the deadliest airport shooting in U.S. history.

The shooting spree was “85 seconds of evil,” U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom told Santiago at his sentencing. “It is difficult, if not impossible, for this court to separate the evil in your acts from the evil in the man.”

Several victims and family members of the murdered victims spoke at the hearing.

“Gone in a second from a bullet, you do not get a chance to say goodbye,” said Melissa Beauchamp, whose mother, 69-year-old Mary Louise Amzibel, was one the five people killed. “We did not get a chance to say ‘We love you.’ … Nothing is the same as before.”

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