Airport shooting suspect makes court appearance

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – The Iraq war veteran accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six at a crowded Florida airport baggage claim briefly appeared in federal court Monday in Fort Lauderdale.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Valle explained the charges 26-year-old Esteban Santiago faces and told him the death penalty could apply during a 15-minute hearing Monday morning.

Security was tight outside the courthouse with more than two-dozen officers in bulletproof vests. Santiago wore a red jumpsuit and was shackled at the wrists, stomach and legs.

Santiago has been in custody since the Friday afternoon shooting. He answered the judge’s questions in a clear voice. He told the judge he worked for a security firm in Anchorage, Alaska, until November. He said he only has about $5 to $10 in the bank.

The judge set a detention hearing for Jan. 17 and an arraignment hearing on Jan. 23.

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