Florida airport shooting suspect mentally competent: Lawyer

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Associated Press

Defence lawyers say the Alaskan man accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six at a major airport in Florida is mentally competent to stand trial.

FILE- In this Jan. 30, 2017, file photo, Esteban Santiago, center, is led from the Broward County jail for an arraignment in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Santiago, 26, who is accused of killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport shooting rampage is due in federal court, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Esteban Santiago ed from the Broward County jail for an arraignment in federal court.

Source: Associated Press

Attorneys for 26-year-old Esteban Santiago told a federal judge today that he understands court proceedings and can assist in his defence.

Santiago is accused of flying from Anchorage, Alaska, to Florida on January 6 and opening fire at a baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Santiago told FBI agents after the shooting that he was under some form of government mind control.

Later, he said the shooting was inspired by the Islamic State extremist group.

Santiago previously was briefly treated at an Alaska hospital after telling authorities he had been hearing voices.

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