Fireman, retiree among victims

Federal agents in Alaska say they took a handgun from Florida airport shooter Esteban Santiago in November after he told them his mind was being controlled by US intelligence agents, but returned it to him last month.
 Law enforcement officers searching for suspects near Fort Lauderdale's airport following the shooting incident on Jan 6, 2017. A volunteer firefighter in his 60s and a retiree en route to a cruise ship vacation were among the five travellers fatally
Law enforcement officers searching for suspects near Fort Lauderdale's airport following the shooting incident on Jan 6, 2017. A volunteer firefighter in his 60s and a retiree en route to a cruise ship vacation were among the five travellers fatally gunned down. PHOTO: REUTERS

FORT LAUDERDALE • A volunteer firefighter in his 60s and a retiree en route to a cruise ship vacation were among the five travellers fatally gunned down in last Friday's airport attack in Florida.

The US authorities have not named any of the victims of the rampage in a crowded baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale's airport, which also left six others shot and dozens more with injuries suffered in the chaos as people fled.

But a picture of some of those killed began to emerge over the weekend from local reports and in testimonials by family and friends.

Mr Terry Andres, a volunteer fireman from Virginia, was at the airport to go on vacation with his wife, his daughter told local broadcaster WAVY-TV.

She said her father would have celebrated his 63rd birthday later this month. He was shot multiple times but his wife was not hurt.

Mr Andres had served since 2004 with the Oceana Volunteer Fire Department, where he was remembered fondly.

Another of those killed was Ms Olga Woltering, an 84-year-old British retiree from Georgia who was on vacation with her husband Ralph, 90.

"She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend," said fellow churchgoer Chip Oudt. "She will be missed."

"Olga was so charming, calling everybody 'Lovey' or 'Love' in her unmistakable British accent," church officials said in a statement.

A third fatality was Mr Michael Oehme from Iowa. He had also been on his way to a cruise ship vacation with his wife when he was shot.

His wife Kari was shot in the shoulder and will survive, according to Omaha television station WOWT.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2017, with the headline 'Fireman, retiree among victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe