Fort Lauderdale airport attack doesn’t affect local travelers attitude about flying

A Longmeadow doctor with background in clinical psychology, believes airport screening will change

(Broward Sheriff's Office via AP)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – After a gunman killed five people and wounded more at a baggage claim at the Fort Lauderdale international airport, 22News was determined to find out if this horrific incident will change your attitudes about flying.

At the collegian court restaurant in Chicopee late Saturday afternoon, a group of Irish travelers told 22News, the attack has not changed their attitude about flying. In fact, one woman told us, she has plans to travel to Florida soon.

Chaos erupted Friday, after a 26-year-old Esteban Santiago opened fire at baggage claim in terminal 2 at the Fort Lauderdale airport. 5 people were killed and 8 wounded.

A traveling group from western Massachusetts, have traveled to Ireland, every single year, for the past 6 years. They said the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting will not stop them from traveling.

Kathryn Gallivan, of South Hadley told 22News, “But it won’t change my plans. I think if anything, hopefully the security will increase and they’ll be more restrictions.”

Santiago, who flew from anchorage to Minneapolis and on to Fort Lauderdale, investigators say he retrieved a gun from his checked luggage, loaded it in the bathroom, and then began shooting.

Officials believe the Iraq veteran, who suffered from mental health issues, specifically flew to Florida for the attack.

A Longmeadow doctor with a background in clinical psychology, believes airport screening will change.

Dr. Mark Elin, of Longmeadow said, “I think this points out and brings us into a new standard of how we need to screen people. People who are experiencing different levels of neuropathology, as well as psychological problems.”

Those travelers told 22News, despite Friday’s vicious attack, when they travel, they try not to think about the “what if’s”.