Alaskan charged with Florida airport shooting 'mentally fit' after going off meds

Esteban Santiago, accused Fort Lauderdale airport shooter.
Esteban Santiago, accused Fort Lauderdale airport shooter.(KCRG)
Published: Sep. 28, 2017 at 11:44 AM AKDT
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Lawyers for an Alaska man charged with killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport mass shooting say he has stopped taking anti-psychotic medication but remains mentally competent.

The attorneys said at a hearing Thursday in Miami federal court that 27-year-old Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, stopped taking medication to treat schizophrenia because of side effects. But they said Santiago's mental condition is good.

Santiago pleaded not guilty to a 22-count indictment in the Jan. 6 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The Justice Department may seek the death penalty in a trial still months away.

After the shooting, the FBI says Santiago told agents he acted under government mind control, then claimed inspiration by the Islamic State extremist group. No terrorism links have been found.