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Florida Shooting Suspect Spoke to FBI in November

Esteban Santiago said the government was controlling his mind
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2017 7:03 PM CST
Fla. Gunman Said Government Controlled His Mind: Official
People stand on the tarmac at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after a shooter opened fire inside the terminal, killing several people and wounding others before being taken into custody, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.    (Lynne Sladky)

(Newser) – A law enforcement official says the Florida airport gunman told the FBI in November that the government was controlling his mind and was forcing him to watch Islamic State group videos. The official says agents in Anchorage, Alaska, completed their interview with 26-year-old Esteban Santiago and called the police, who took him for a mental health evaluation. The FBI's Anchorage field office said in a statement that it was aware Santiago was an Anchorage resident and that it was assisting in the investigation, but it declined to comment further, the AP reports. Santiago's brother says Santiago had been receiving psychological treatment while living in Alaska.

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A military spokesperson says Santiago received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard last year for unsatisfactory performance. Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead did not release details about his discharge in August 2016. Olmstead said that Santiago joined the Guard in November 2014. Puerto Rico National Guard spokesperson Maj. Paul Dahlen said that Santiago was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and spent a year there with the 130th Engineer Battalion, the 1013th engineer company out of Aguadilla. Olmstead also said that Santiago had served in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard. (Read more Esteban Santiago stories.)

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