A lone gunman opened fire on passengers waiting for their baggage.

People on the tarmac after shots were fired at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 6, 2017 NBC TV Local10 via AP
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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA // FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA // At least five people died after a lone gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale international airport yesterday.

The Broward County sheriff’s office reported that there were five people killed and 13 injured in the shooting which happened in the baggage collection area of the airport’s terminal 2, just before 1pm local time.

The gunman, described as a slender man in his twenties wearing a Star Wars T-shirt did not speak and was shot by police as he attempted to reload. Florida senator Bill Nelson said the gunman had been identified as Esteban Santiago but this was not confirmed by law enforcement authorities. Another man was also seen being led away in handcuffs almost two hours after the shooting was reported.

Broward County mayor Barbara Sharief said there was “an active crime scene investigation” at the airport’s terminal 2. The airport suspended all operations as medical teams arrived to treat the wounded.

One of the first reports of the incident came from former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer who was at the airport and relayed events on Twitter. “Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” he tweeted.

Hundreds of people were shown standing on the tarmac as ambulances and law enforcement units rushed to the scene.

Thirteen people were also wounded and were taken to local hospitals, said Ms Sharief.

* Associated Press