A man’s laptop saved his life during the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting.
Steve Frappier, 37, an Atlanta, Georgia, school counselor, was in Florida for an education conference and had just arrived at the airport's baggage claim area on Jan. 6 when he heard loud, firecracker-like noises, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“I didn’t think much of it because in an airport, there’s always loud sounds,” Frappier said.
After realizing he was in an active-shooter situation, he hit the floor.
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After reportedly witnessing a man get shot in the head, Frappier felt a muffled impact on his back. He thought luggage had fallen on him, but after Santiago surrendered to police and the school counselor made his way to the bathroom, he realized it was much more than luggage: a bullet had struck his Macbook Pro inside of his backpack.
The backpack was surrendered to FBI agents and they found a 9mm bullet inside.
“If I didn’t have that backpack on, the bullet would have shot me between the shoulders,” Frappier said. “It still doesn’t feel real.”
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The gunman was Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old security guard from Alaska who formerly served in the state’s Army National Guard. He had flown to Florida with a checked bag containing a handgun, and upon collecting the case at baggage claim, he opened fire, CNN reports.
“He never said anything the entire time,” Frappier said of Santiago, according to The Sacramento Bee. “He was cool, calm and collected. He never grimaced.”
Santiago killed five people in his attack and wounded eight others. As many as 40 people were hurt in some way during the chaotic scene as they tried to evacuate the airport, suffering from bruises, sprains, broken bones and more, CNN notes.
Santiago is being held without bond on a murder charge. A motive has not been concluded, but the FBI is not ruling out terrorism.