Laptop saves man from bullet during Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

Steve Frappier says he witnessed victim get shot in head

By Layron Livingston - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - An Atlanta man who once lived in South Florida credits his laptop for saving his life during Friday's shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"A man called out, 'Get down. That guy's got a gun.' We all dropped," Steve Frappier said.

From the floor, Frappier said he watched the gunman stroll by, shooting his victims one-by-one.

"Ten feet away from me, I see a man get shot in the head," Frappier said.

That man, he said, was Terry Andres from Virginia Beach, who was supposed to celebrate his 62nd birthday on a cruise.    

The volunteer firefighter would later be named among the five people killed during Friday's attack.

Frappier said he was still on the ground when the gunman came back.

"The shot hit near me. I felt a thump on my back," he said.

Thousands of passengers went running in the chaos that followed. Eventually, the all-clear was given.

"As soon as we all stand up, we see who wasn't standing up," Frappier said.

Frappier said it wasn't until he went to the restroom and took off his bag that he realized there was a hole in it. 

"There was a hole on the side of it, and I'm like, that thump wasn't the luggage, it was the bullet," Frappier said.

Frappier's laptop was struck by a bullet and was turned over to the FBI as evidence. The bullet was found in Frappier's bag.

Frappier said he was shocked when he learned more about the accused gunman.

"A young veteran, who attempted to get mental-health counseling after hearing voices in his head (and was) reportedly dismissed from psychiatric care after four days," he said. "Can we, in a nonpartisan way, use this moment to bolster whatever resources we need at whatever level and agree that more mental coverage is better for society as a whole?"

Frappier said he looks forward to the day the shooter is brought to justice, but not so much for himself.

"I feel so horribly for those injured and (those) that have lost someone," he said. "These are amazing people with amazing stories."

Frappier said he overpacked for his conference, otherwise he wouldn't have even checked the bag he was waiting on. He also flew in early to visit friends.

He said he is scheduled to fly back home Wednesday morning, and rebooked his flight out of Miami International Airport.

 

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