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Dodged the bullets

January 25, 2017
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Even though I am quite content and appreciative of where I live, I like to travel outside our paradise island to explore the vast beauty of America. And on Jan. 6, I was on a return flight back to South Florida with my wife. Shortly after we landed we were in the baggage claim area in Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport gathering our luggage when I heard gun shots. A few seconds after we heard the gun shots, the airport turned into a chaotic scene.

The airport terminal looked like a war zone but without the casualties. At the time we had no idea of the horrific scene that had taken place in Terminal 2. During the rampage we stood in shock of what might have happened in the baggage claim area near us. Within a few minutes after the shots were fired, Broward police officers were at the crime scene. Even though we were there and had heard the gun shots, we did not actually see the devastating scene. We realized that we had to try to escape what started to unwind into a life threatening situation for passengers throughout the airport.

Our intuition was to flee the area and suddenly we shifted into survival mode. In less than a split second I had requested for an Uber driver on my cell phone. As we waited for the driver, I felt helpless and vulnerable since we were in an unsafe open public place. A few minutes later the Uber driver reached our location and he seemed to be shaken and nervous as he drove us out of the terminal parking area. And like us he had no idea what had taken place a few minutes earlier. Only that it had become extremely difficult for him to drive into the arrival area of the airport.

As the driver drove us out the immediate danger, police officers were rerouting vehicles through a parking lot instead of the main exit. Even at this time we were not aware of the severity of the incident.

It was not until we were in our Miami home that we were able to watch on television the appalling events that had evolved throughout that day. Newscasters broadcasted on lived television that the alleged gunman had killed five and injured six others in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area of the airport. Our prayers went to the victims and their families for the tragic loss of lives. In retrospect we realized that we were able to dodged the bullets and our lives were spared.

Cesar Sanchez (aka Popo)




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