By CoinWeek News Staff ….
The 62nd Annual Florida United Numismatists Convention–the 2017 FUN Show–opened in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Thursday, January 5. Word of mouth had it that the show was doing well, but the bourse floor couldn’t help but be affected by the shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Shortly before 1:00pm Eastern Time today, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received the first calls concerning shooting at the airport. A gunman had opened fire in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2. Five people have died, while at least eight others have been injured. The gunman has been apprehended by law enforcement. His identity had been withheld earlier in the afternoon but local news sources are identifying the shooter taken into custody as one Esteban Santiago. He appears to have been born in New Jersey and had some kind of military ID on him at the time of the attack. CNN is reporting that the shooter flew in to the airport earlier today and that the gun used in the shooting was in a bag that he had checked with security.
No other information–such as his motives–has been released at this point, though the Sheriff’s Office has stated that there were no other participants in the shooting.
People inside the airport at the time were evacuated outside. At the time of writing, many are still waiting to return inside.
Flights to and from FLL will be delayed or rerouted to different airports. This will obviously have an impact on convention-goers and their travel plans coming to and leaving the Ft. Lauderdale area, but the emotional impact of such an attack so close to home has affected FUN attendees and the overall mood of the show.
Numismatic writer Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez said that “people are leaving… it’s a tragedy. The show was lively before but now the mood is dampened.”
Author Scott Travers was giving a seminar when the announcement was made at the show. “It effects the show, creating a lot of confusion … [it’s] changed lots of people’s travel plans.”
FUN Vice President Bob Hurst said that the “Convention Center has upped its security”, and that “FUN is working with law enforcement”.
CoinWeek will continue to stay abreast of the story as it develops.
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