Marlin Ritzman, middle, the special agent in charge of the FBI's field office in Anchorage, Alaska, speaks during a news conference Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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While investigators try to figure out the motive of an Iraq war veteran accused of killing five travelers and wounding six others at a busy international airport in Florida, the suspected gunman was charged and could face the death penalty if convicted."Today's charges represent the gravity of the situation and reflect the commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to continually protect the community and prosecute those who target our residents and visitors," U.S Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said.Authorities said during a news conference that they had interviewed roughly 175 people, including a lengthy interrogation with a cooperative Santiago, who is a former National Guard soldier from Alaska. On Dec. 8, the gun was returned to Santiago. Authorities wouldn't say if it was the same gun used in the airport attack.U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said Santiago would have been able to legally possess a gun because he had not been judged mentally ill, which is a higher standard than having an evaluation.Santiago had not been placed on the U.S. no-fly list and appears to have acted alone, authorities said.Santiago arrived in Fort Lauderdale after taking off from Anchorage aboard a Delta flight Thursday night, checking only one piece of luggage -- his gun, said Jesse Davis, police chief at the Anchorage airport.
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