Fort Lauderdale airport shooting suspect's mental health stable, lawyer says

Esteban Santiago competent to assist in defense


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A defense lawyer said the mental condition of an Alaska man accused of killing five people and wounding six at a South Florida airport has stabilized.

The attorney for Esteban Santiago, 27, of Anchorage, Alaska, said at a hearing Friday that his client continues to take anti-psychotic medication for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and is competent to assist in his defense.

Santiago has pleaded not guilty to a 22-count indictment in the Jan. 6 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The Justice Department is considering whether to seek the death penalty, and trial is many months away.

The FBI sais Santiago told agents after the shooting that he acted under government mind control, then claimed inspiration by the Islamic State extremist group. No terrorism ties have been found.