Junior 1 terminal away from gunshots

By Nadieda Dazile, Opinion Editor

The shooting in Terminal 2 at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6 not only shocked the general community, but also could have taken the life of a student.

Junior Jay Pearson couldn’t even imagine the horror that was happening right next door to Terminal 1, where they were during the shooting.

“I heard the shots when I was getting my luggage,” Pearson said. “I didn’t make anything of it at the time.”

Pearson, who was flying in from Greenville, South Carolina, and many others hadn’t realized what was happening, and when they did, paranoia ensued.

“I saw ambulances and 15 police cars outside, and people were running into each other,” Pearson said. “I didn’t realize what had happened until I looked on Twitter and saw retweets of the reports.”

This shooting had a lasting impact on the lives of those affected directly and those who were not.

“It was pretty much terrifying and when I got to my mom’s car, there was a lot of hugging and crying,” Pearson said. “It made me put my life into perspective and how close I was from being in (the shooting).”

The shooter, Esteban Santiago, had documented mental issues before the shooting. He told FBI agents that he carried out the attack for the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.  

“There’s something about a guy flying down that makes it seem planned, but I don’t think it has to do with ISIS,” Pearson said. “I don’t see the value in tying all terrorist attacks to ISIS, and I think that relating all terror attacks to ISIS leads to racism against Muslims.”

Pearson was not hesitant to admit her own doubts about airport security.

“I’d be very nervous (to fly again),” they said. “I think security should be increased and measures should be taken before you enter the airport door.”

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