"I know that guy" - Scottsdale veteran recounts chaos after Ft. Lauderdale shooting, knows suspect

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 20:19:28-05

A Scottsdale veteran is back home after being in the Fort Lauderdale airport at the time of the shooting. 

Sgt. Luis Ortiz-Sanchez streamed the chaos live on Facebook. Through screams and cries, you can hear the terror of those running on the tarmac, escaping the horror inside the airport.

"You run for your life, and you see fathers with their kids in their hands," Ortiz-Sanchez said.

The sergeant serves in the Army reserves. He was at the airport with his wife about to head back to Scottsdale from a vacation.  

One video shows an announcer keeping the crowd updated. 

"Terminal two is on lockdown. It's a crime scene," the announcer said.

That's where Ortiz-Sanchez and his wife here, about to go through the TSA checkpoint when they heard shots coming from the level below them. 

"The TSA employee or security person running to us and screaming to run, to run, run because they have an active shooter," Ortiz-Sanchez said.

Everyone near him ran to a gate and out on to the tarmac. He says it was chaos. 

"I see people (hiding) behind dumpsters, the walls," Ortiz-Sanchez said.

Little did he know at the time that the alleged shooter, Esteban Santiago, is someone who he had served with in the Army.

"He was one of my friends. He deployed with me to Iraq. I know that guy," Ortiz-Sanchez said.

He says they were in different units, but deployed together to Iraq in 2010, and he didn't have any contact with him since then.

Now, he wonders what would've happened if he would've run in to him before the attack.

"I want to ask him why he did it," Ortiz-Sanchez said.

Santiago has been charged in connection with the shooting and could face the death penalty.